The very fact that we spend time thinking about happiness is one good reason to be happy. In order to have the option to pursue happiness, there has to be freedom from oppression as well as equality of individuals before the law.
One of the most powerful statements in United State’s founding documents shows the connection between equality and the pursuit of happiness:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
~The Declaration of Independence
Sadly, in too many countries people do not have the luxury of discussing happiness or love because the political environment does not allow the freedom needed to make meaningful choices. Poverty combined with totalitarian regimes oppress people to the point where mere survival is all that they can really think about.
We who live in countries that aspire to freedom and equality before the law are very fortunate in being able to have some ability to follow our own path to a happy and meaningful life.
Even if we don’t know what will make us happy, we can be grateful that we have enough security in our lives to consider what might make us happy.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD