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. Sadly, it’s not a right as evident as I personally would like. Some days it’s frustrating to think how many times I have had to weave fancy arguments or pathetic excuses simply to explain actions which really have no other explanation than “It makes me happy to do as I have done.”
If I’m in a kinder mood I’d say it’s pitiable in a way; not everyone is really free to pursue what makes them happy, so maybe it’s understandable that many demand more somber and sophisticated reasons for actions and arguments. (That is assuming, of course, that people really care to hear a reason in the first place, though in my experience many have a habit of pretending to care just long enough to make one feel tyrannically uncomfortable).
Still, it is a right I will continue to pursue as long as I am able, in the hope that one day it truly becomes self-evident.