October 7, 2013

Lessons for a father - The Pursuit Of Happiness

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. - Excerpt from the United States Declaration of Independence.

That's what they said. That we all were equal and along with "Life" and "Liberty", all [humans] also had an unalienable right to pursue happiness. 

It is our God-given right and nothing and nobody can stop us from trying to be happy.

It is, without any doubt, a very powerful statement. It also is, quite frequently, a very confusing one. 

I am allowed to pursue happiness. Great! What, however, is happiness? 

Is it the feeling I get when my son wakes me up every morning with a smile? Or, is it what I feel when I achieve an honor at work? Maybe, it is the finishing of a marathon that is happiness?

Is it what Gandhi was striving for when he fought, non-violently, for his people's rights? May be, Martin Luther King wanted happiness when he had a dream of a time when all races would be considered equal.

As a very strong and little girl proved to the world, happiness, often, is not defined by something big and life changing. It can be achieved with something as simple as being heard.

Her name is Anneya and at the grand old age of 12, she chose, at school, to step up to face ethical and moral adversity and advocate equality.

Not only did she stand up against the unfair treatment, she also made sure that other students were not exposed to the unpleasant situation.

12. That is how old she is. That was the age when I would think of little else but going out with friends, completely unknown to the idea of "Otherness". 

It is the same age when Albert Einstein taught himself Euclidean geometry and Ludwig van Beethoven became an assistant organist. What does a 12 year old Einstein and Beethoven have in common with a little school going girl? 

They, as kids, were happy to do what they were doing without any expectation of greatness or success. They did what they did to be happy!

While Einstein and Beethoven found pleasure, and greatness, in science and music respectively, Anneya, pursues happiness by finding no difference between herself and other students at school in matters of the color of their skin.

Yes, the world needs a Lincoln more than ever. Gandhi and Martin Luther King would, possibly, be able to solve a lot of our issues, but if the future of our tumultuous present lies in the hands of these 12 year olds, I am pretty sure that the commercial playing on TV is correct - we, indeed, are in good hands! 

Image: Abraham Lincoln (Wikipedia)

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