Monday, September 13, 2010

Of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Saturday was the 9th anniversary of one our nation’s worst events. It was so horrific and unwarranted that all one needs to say is 9-11 and almost everyone knows about that which you are speaking. We still remember December 7, 1941 as a day that will live in infamy.
9-11 will be the same.

It is hard for most of us to understand the mentality that promotes the kind of behavior that resulted in 9-11. We live in a society that is comprised of virtually every kind of person on the planet. Name a society, and someone from that society has become a member of ours. We live together and work together. We eat at the same restaurants and our kids play together on the same soccer and baseball fields. For us, this is normal.

We don’t understand the idea that an Iraqi Sunni Muslim and an Iraqi Shiite Muslim would just as soon shoot each other than to walk on the same side of the street. To us they look like brothers. To them the hatred is real and deep.

While there is certainly hatred, bigotry, and prejudice in America, it is not the norm. This is a credit to our founding documents, specifically the Declaration of Independence. Our creator granted us the right to life. Government can neither grant this right nor take it away. It was granted to us as individuals with the belief that we would be able to conduct our personal affairs in a way that allows all of us, regardless of background, to live together. We have created this wonderful society, and we should persevere to defend it at whatever cost. It is, indeed, that special.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the 8/28 rally in D.C. What an event. The mall was absolutely packed. So were the metro and the parking decks. Whatever the final count, if there could even be one, several hundred thousand people gathered to stand up for individual liberty.

A more beautiful gathering of people I have never witnessed. I saw people as polite as could be imagined. A disabled vet in a wheelchair trying to make it through the crowd and the crowd parting. The entire car on the metro ride to the event suddenly bursting into a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.

And, if you want to know the true measure of the quality of the people at the event, all you need to do is look at photos of the mall after the event was over. It was cleaner than it had been the day before. Several hundred thousand people who all understood that liberty requires individual responsibility. And they showed the world, by their actions, what that concept is. They stood together, and as individuals, in defense and support of individual liberty.

In an age when the political elite are doing everything in their power to curtail or eliminate our children’s opportunity for liberty, these people took a stand. If you are going to pick your friends, pick them from people like these. They will lift you up. And they will help you leave America in better shape for your children. They understand that liberty is a right granted to us by our creator. While government can take this away, they should not be allowed to do so. It is up to us to stop them.

Me and several hundred thousand of my closest friends are about take a step in that direction on November 2nd. Will you be my friend?

For the past five years I have been working towards my bachelor’s degree online through East Carolina University. I took my final course over the summer and, though the website assured me that I had attained my degree, I was unable to be absolutely sure. Saturday my actual degree arrived in the mail. Today I will look for a frame. Tomorrow I will hang it on the wall in my cube at work.

For the 49 years of my life, whenever I spoke, it was pure B.S. Now I can B.S. in an official capacity. Having reached this goal and taking a measure of my life to this point, I can say with absolute certainty that I am as imperfect as they come. Like most people, there are things I wish I had done, but didn’t or haven’t yet. There have been decisions I wish I had made differently. There have been failures and successes, and self induced misery. But, overriding all of this is the opportunity I have had with the pursuit.

Thank God I was born in this country. Thank God I was born to parents who believed in self reliance and individual liberty and instilled those values in me. With the economy as bad as it is, I have a good job that I enjoy with a company that is doing very well. I am able to use my spare time to pursue higher goals that will help to make me faster, better, and stronger.

I have a wonderful wife and two great kids. My creator granted me the right to pursue happiness, not the right to attain it. But, I have attained it. Thank God.

A final thought: my grandson is 2-1/2 years old (1/2’s are important at that age don’t you know). I look at where I am at, what I have accomplished, and the fact that I have been able to live in the country my parents and grandparents created for me. I look at my grandson and I can’t help but wonder. Will he be able to say, 50 years from now, that he was grateful for the country I created for him? How about our generation? Will any of our children be able to say the same? I’m not sure I can answer that question.

We have allowed our governments to take us in directions that do not bode well for the future. I’m up for the fight, though. Because I want my grandson to have the same opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that I had. It is my prayer that we all want the same for our grandchildren.
If so, then it is time to take a stand.
Are you with me?


1 comment:

JIm Womack said...


CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your B.S. from East Carolina University! Now you are a Pirate alumnist and you have a B.S. beside you name. Come to think of it, that means you and the author of the e-Lee Dispatch will now have two things in common-- you both like your B.S. and both of you are pirates. Difference is, you should be proud of your B.S. and your piracy is symbolic.

Seriously though, it's good to see you blogging alongside your 'fresh-brewed' wife and we wish you all the best! Keep up the excellent commentary!


Jim & Sherry-Lynn Womack

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