If you follow my Twitter account, you probably already read this. But it was good enough I wanted to share here, and maybe expound a bit. The context was a larger political rant which I’ll spare you.

The Right to Pursue Happiness vs the Right to Happiness

this country was founded on the right to pursue happiness. to have the right to pursue, you have to have the right to fail at your pursuit.September 22, 2010 6:41 pm via TweetDeck

I object to the political parties who say we need bigger government in order to control all the poverty, and solve all the needy people’s problems. Each nation is built to fulfill a purpose, and it’s laws are constructed in such a way as to uphold that vision.

The United States of America were built upon basic inalienable rights. The right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. Having a right to life means no one has the right to take your life from you. Having the right to liberty means no one can take your liberty from you. Having the right to pursue something means no one has permission to prevent you from pursuing happiness.

Our founding fathers were very careful and deliberate with their word choice here. Part of having liberty means you can pursue your own happiness to the degree that it doesn’t squelch anyone else’s life, liberty or pursuit. That leaves the door rather wide open.

Freedom to Fail

If you have the freedom to pursue, that means the outcome is uncertain. It’s your right to pursue happiness. You might get it. You might not. But if you drink away your house and marriage, it’s not the government’s responsibility to hand out money so that you can continue your lifestyle of choice. You get to pursue happiness through the means you choose. But if your choices fail to bring you happiness, you have no one else to blame or demand reparation from.

If you are free to pursue, you are free to choose HOW you pursue. And if you are free to choose how, then you are free to royally screw up your chance. And that has to be okay. Because you are free to try.

Here’s a bonus:

I agree with the Democrats’ concern for the poor, the unfortunate, and the minority. i disagree that it’s the government’s job to fix.September 22, 2010 6:13 pm via TweetDeck

Caring Doesn’t Equal Solving

It saddens me to see that the Democratic Party has become known as the sympathetic party. I love their heart for the poor and oppressed and unfortunate. I really do. But it’s not enough to care. Caring doesn’t equal solving. You can be dying of a gunshot wound to the chest and I can care so much for your pain that I run to the street corner and petition people to form committees to investigate the bullet hole, the cause of shooting in America, and what type of lifestyle needs you might have as a gunshot victim. I can spend time and money organizing. Meanwhile you’re dying. And you won’t make it another hour, much less in the time it would take to conclude our investigation and appeal to others for funding.

But I cared about you! I tried to help you! So much more than those other snobs who walked by and only said they cared. At least I DID something! But wait. This isn’t about making ME feel good. It’s about saving your life. It’s about doing what actually needs to be done, rather than what satisfies my need to feel charitable. I should have just laid my hand on you, commanded your body to be healed, and then driven you quickly to the hospital if nothing happened instantly.

You are not guaranteed health. You are not guaranteed happiness. You are given the freedom to pursue those things. But the government is not your parent. It’s not their job to clean up your mess.

The Right to Accept Favor and Grace

Let’s stretch our minds here just a second, and apply this to the Kingdom of God. We read about what God has said He’s given us: favor, grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, righteousness, etc. But I know many Christians, including myself, who aren’t experiencing these all the time.

Some will argue with my word choice here, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be more accurate to say God gave us the freedom to pursue favor, grace, and mercy. It’s more than that, I know. He actually HAS made it available. It’s really there, for the taking. But we don’t automatically walk in the realization or experience of those things just because we believe. We can accept Christ as Lord and Savior and still misunderstand plenty about who He is, what His intentions are, and what He thinks of us after we mess up.

And some of us will wait on our duffs for the day when God drops the answer out of the sky. But what if He already did? What if your answer is already there, and you’re just not seeing it?

2 responses to “The Pursuit of Happiness: Which Part is Guaranteed?”

  1. I simply think those who are trying deserve a chance and if the system blocks that chance it is wrong! I can run for the office of POTUS but Government allowing Corporations to have rights that are not given in the Constitution and allows them to use that power to buy elections prevents any reasonable chance one would have. At not point does the Constitution give rights to anyone or anything other then Born and naturalized Citizens in my opinion.

    But back on point, regulations can cause people to feel they have no hope, and prevent them from having any hope! I agree one should at least have to make an effort but if disabled mentally or physically (really) then they need help or guidance!

    Money isn’t the most important thing one can have but for some reason it seems to be used as if it is! It is not what you can take that makes you important it is what you can offer or give (Not in money) in knowledge and compassion that gives your life real value. Trump may be a billionaire (who knows), but what has he done to make the world a better place or what has he given or done with that wealth?

    I’m not political and that’s not the point, but in reality it makes no sense we would elect such a person as the face of our nation knowing his history but many did not even care. I ramble a lot!! LOL My mind runs on several platforms at once and they get mixed at times. Feel free to ignore me. I focus on making others think outside their box as we really know nothing for certain but think we know it all.

    I have been a multi millionaire and bankrupted after the 2008 collapse and wealthy in both worlds as family and friends have always been there for me and me for them. As long as I have shelter, food, freedom and family I really have it all! I’m never 100% right or wrong and I believe no one is because there is really no 100% right or wrong. It is merely a perception. God or no God? Big Bang or No Big Bang. I can say both are right and both are wrong. There is no Physical Proof of either, no Ten Commandment tablet, No reason an all knowing God who programmed Adam would have made him and then realize he needed a Companion!

    Did he make Adam bisexual to begin with or was he going to reproduce? Why did he have to use Adam’s rib? Did he run out of material or is that just something MEN who wrote the rules decided to do to make themselves seem superior? Where did the wives of the Sons come from? How can we have a religion that was founded by a man who claimed God told him the day the world would end and it didn’t happen?

    How is it a religion that is against birth control is ran by people who do not reproduce but do abuse? Even if I give you the big Bang happened it tells me nothing about the beginning because the beginning was before the big bang it was the creation of mass and energy that caused the Big Bang. Even if I give you man came from Ape it tells me nothing except I looked like and ape in the past, where did the Ape come from.

    Even if we were created by a lightning strike where did the program come from that it used to reproduce, take in food for energy and process it? Where did the programming for life come from? Where is a trees brain LOL? You see I’m one messed up person and I’m proud of it! LMAO I do hope I make people think and realize we really know nothing but think we are these intelligent beings that know it all.

  2. Robert,

    I’m not going to try to make sense of the second half of that comment, because I really didn’t understand it. But to the first half:

    The government doesn’t exist to pacify or satisfy the people’s feelings. When this nation was founded there was no infrastructure. There were no guarantees. No federal assistance. Everything was built along the way.

    When this government was formed, we had a bunch of people owning land, farming, building, ranching, hunting, selling. The federal government existed to unify the original thirteen colonies so that each state would cooperate in some minimalistic form of union. But the states were sovereign. Only what was written into federal documents became standardized among the many states.

    Women died in childbirth all the time. Adults died young and left behind children with no foster care system. Everyone struggled and no one had any guarantees except the right to not be murdered, the right to exercise their freedoms, and the right to pursue happiness in any way they saw fit so long as it didn’t impinge upon the other stated rights of other citizens.

    This is the foundation of our government. It is to assist in the dream of pursuing the freedoms from control and micromanagement that other European governments had exercised. Freedom requires risk of massive failure. There ARE other governmental systems that you might consider “safer” in the world, which offer more guaranteed help to each citizen. But those guarantees come at a price. Someone pays for them. And the more you take away from someone who is building, working, earning to give to someone else, the more motivation you rob from the makers, builders, earners.

    It’s not the whole story. But it’s important to recognize that you have no resources to feed, clothe, house, and medicate people for free without the people who work, earn, build, and invest.

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