Yesterday, I judged some 5th and 6th grade essays for a writing competition with our local newspaper. What does the pursuit of happiness mean to you? Most of the kids wrote on topics beyond their understanding such as the right to education or the right to freedom, no doubt as prompted by their teacher. However, one of the essays was head and shoulders above the others and I look forward to seeing that name in the paper soon.
But, I started thinking about the pursuit of happiness. Our forefathers obviously believed that happiness was attainable only through the rights to certain actions, but I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong I’m not missing the point of our freedoms. But happiness is a state of mind. It cannot be bought or achieved through accomplishments.
Many people ask me if I am happy because I sold my first novel. I never know quite what to say to this. I’m certainly not unhappy about it. I’m very pleased and grateful, but happy? No. I’m not going to hinge my happiness on whether or not I sell my writing and neither should you.
Today, I choose to be happy. No matter how many times my kids scream my name, wreck the living room, dump juice all over the floor, and do the exact opposite of what I ask, I’m going to choose to be happy. How about you?