“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are ….. endowed by their Creator with …… Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These are the attributes determined by America’s founders to be worthy of individual acclamation.
And the pursuit of happiness
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it”
These then, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are the attributes worthy of casting off the yoke of governance if, in its current form, they cannot be achieved.
“and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
So the founders of America deemed Government and affecter of safety and happiness. Not only was government an instrument of these two attributes, the form of government was deemed so important as to exercise their right and duty to
“throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards”
To ensure success in ultimately obtaining such safety and happiness.
I am often perplexed at how America came to be the most powerful country on the planet, yet our nation’s quality of life, as given weight in our cherished Declaration, does not correlate with our dominant position in the world. America has achieved the both power and fortune, yet in that pursuit, our people don’t seem to have reached their uber-goal of happiness.
A prescription for individual happiness is to achieve abundant connectedness, producing purpose and meaning, in the following areas of one’s life.
1) Connection to God: Spiritual development
2) Connection to self: Health – physical/mental/emotional/self esteem
3) Connection to others: Spousal intimacy/Family/Friends
4) Connection to your inner child: Recreation/Leisure /personal development
5) Connection to purpose: Giving/helping others, purposeful career
6) Connected to one’s future: Personal and community planning /Work progression/ Financial and physical security
Balance is the key. Striving for any one attribute while allowing others to suffer is a gross imbalance that like a cancer blots out one’s long-term happiness. If this balance is true for the individual, it must be collectively true for the nation.
Yet is this balance and connection pursued by our communities or our government and industry leaders? Is balance achievable by a polarized legislature whose agenda is set by the 1%? If what is measured is treasured, it is high time America falls away from emphasizing GDP to begin to measure our Declaration of Independence Index.