“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~ Erma Bombeck
The pursuit, life, liberty and happiness is a noble one, which has become skewed at least in part in recent years. The pursuit of happiness as it has been more recently defined- where fulfillment is confused with the accumulation of stuff, status – external things, is truth intended to be the quest for a rather more profoundly held sense of fulfillment. We are abundantly fortunate to live in a country where we have the right to pursue a life where we do feel satisfaction and happiness and other positive emotions. A life where you are engaged, where your lose yourself in the moment in a task, falling into flow, where time seems to stand still. There is meaning, serving or belonging to something you believe is bigger than you. Achievement or accomplishments are pursued for their own sake, even when there is no immediate positive emotion attached.
A life with positive relationships few things we do that are really happy are done alone. Think about sharing a laugh, or a hard trek and how much closer that makes you feel and how much richer and more balanced your life becomes. Families are a wonderful example of this, they embody the challenges and pleasures if life. Raising a child is never easy, and at times down right heart breaking and hard. Navigating family dynamics, highs. lows and personalities can bring real achievement and enjoyment as well. For most of us we can laugh at funny stories from vacations gone awry.
So this July 4th Holiday, I hope you celebrate with people important to you, who push you to be your finest self awhile also letting you best your worst self. That you cheer each other on in the joyful and messy times. And you let some ants eat themselves silly.