The Declaration of Independence does not state that all men are guaranteed happiness, but the pursuit of happiness.
In the Declaration of Independence, there is a well-known sentence that reads “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”. This sentence was discussed in depth here at the Thrivetime business coach headquarters this past week. Business coach Clay Clark brought it up to discuss one key phrase within this sentence. He pointed out the phrase “pursuit of happiness”. The Declaration of Independence does not state however, that all men are guaranteed happiness, but the pursuit of happiness. Meaning that you have the ability to create your own success, your own happy life. Not that it is guaranteed by the government that you will have a nice comfortable life. Pursuit is defined in the dictionary as “an effort to secure or attain”. This means that you are entitled to have the ability to put forth an effort in order to better your life. Neither the world nor your government owes you anything, you are not owed anything by anyone. If you want something you have to work for it.
This is something that I have really noticed recently with my business coach clients. Most entrepreneurs are wired to work for what they want. They don’t want handouts outs or to go weeks without working. In fact, they LIKE working. This is so vastly different from the main population that believes they are entitled to a large salary for little work, several weeks of paid vacation time, and free healthcare. This past week my clients have all expressed how excited they are to get back to work now that the shutdown is coming to a close. It got me thinking about how grateful I am for this ability to work. This section of The Declaration of Independence is so important to me because that means that I and my husband have the ability to create a better life for ourselves. It means that we are not stuck in a certain working-class like you are in other countries. It allows my husband to work towards owning a franchise, it means that I can continue working as a business coach. It means that if we want to turn our house into a rental house and move to a large piece of land or buy a new car we have the ability and opportunity to work harder and save more in order to make those things happen. What it does not mean is that just because I want a new car, a promotion, healthcare, or whatever it may be, that I automatically deserve it. It does not mean that the government should give me a new car just for existing or that my boss should promote me just because I have worked here for a while. So embrace this ability to work hard and progress, capitalism is a good thing, it can be higher risk but it also poses a much higher reward.