Pursuing Happiness

They say you always remember your first…

For me it was fourth grade. Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was the subject of my very first academic report. As would become a common trend with me, I got really into the research. Even decades later I still have a soft spot for Tom. He had a nice garden. He’s responsible for the very first ice cream recipe in America, and he penned the Declaration of Independence.

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.

Jefferson wrote into history the pursuit of happiness as a self-evident, unalienable human right. Some days it’s frustrating to think how many times I have had to weave fancy arguments simply to explain to myself and/or others the cause of actions which really have no other explanation than “It makes me happy to do as I have done.”

Why must simple things be made so complicated? If I think hard enough I might say it has something to do with consequences, though if the action truly makes one happy I can’t tell if consequences are relevant in such a case. Can such a pursuit ever really be self-evident?