Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Picture from Capitol Hill.

"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 Happyness."

According to Wikipedia, this is one of the best-known sentences in the english language. And it does have a certain grandeur in its composition, to match the powerful context. For those of us who loves the written words, these are things that matter.

One thing that strikes me when I read this sentence is the differences in the three rights explicitly mentioned. Life and Liberty seems to be such grand values. Easy to make a speech out of. But Happiness? How come that is lifted up as being equal to Life itself?

It can only be because those that wrote the declaration knew that we do not live just to live; we live our life with a purpose, even if we do not always know it. Or seek it. And we have a right to seek that purpose and the Happiness that follows it.

We do not have a right to be Happy. We have a right to pursue Happiness. In real life. And in SL. And while Life and Liberty in SL is not governed according to the rest of the declaration (there is no right of revolution in the TOS), at least the first sentence of the Community Standards indicates a certain acknowledgment of happiness:

"We hope you'll have a richly rewarding experience, filled with creativity, self expression and fun. "

Ah well, not as grandeur as the text we celebrate today, but then SL itself does not hold the greatness of the real world.


Happy 4th of July all of you!


ahuva18 said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the pursuit of happiness. It has been a long time since I studied the Declaration of Independence, if indeed I ever did. But I don't ever remember hearing that phrase described as succinctly and clearly as you have here. I like what you wrote and agree totally.

Joonie said...

Nice blog..ty for your comment on mine. =) Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?