Happy Fourth of July!
As Americans, one of the reasons we observe July 4th is to commemorate and celebrate our many freedoms as a country and as individuals. Our Declaration of Independence states our basic rights as human being derived from that freedom; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Before it was written, Thomas Jefferson said it this way, “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
We all have the human right to be happy, but unfortunately society has perverted what it means to be happy.
We often derive our happiness from relationship, possessions, and status in life. Yet, possessions and status rarely last forever and we end up having to grieve losing them. In regard to relationships, we often place our ideals for happiness upon others. Inevitably, when they don’t meet those ideals and our expectations, happiness eludes us.
So how do we discover true happiness in our pursuit of it?
Only you are responsible for your happiness. When you rely on others, status, and possessions, happiness eludes you.
How do you pursue happiness?
Happiness begins with gratitude. Looking for things…VERY SPECIFIC THINGS… for which to be grateful each day. Acknowledge the simple things:
- a cool breeze on a hot day
- a flower growing through the crack in the concrete
- a warm smile from a stranger in the grocery store
- a kind word from the check out person
- a day without the dog pooping on the floor
- making a green light
- good food on a grill
- viewing fireworks for the 45th time
- your freedom to pursue happiness
Pay attention to all the small things you typically take for granted. Grant them. Give them the special attention and the gratitude they deserve. See if you won’t find happiness all around you.
If you really want to get serious about it this 4th of July, try to look at the person from the opposing political party as human. See them as a person with ideals that wants to make our country a better place. Refuse to see them as the enemy. See them as lovable. Too much to ask?
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Ok then. Keep it simple. Jot down ten things at the end of each day for which you are grateful. Make it a habit to share those things with family and friends around the dinner table or in the car. Share with them around the grill or fireworks this year. ALWAYS be intentional about acknowledging the simple yet beautiful things that are ALL around you. Choose to look. Choose to change your perspective.
Pursue true HAPPINESS this 4th of July.