The Road to Independence

The first line/second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence reads “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”

How exquisite are these words and I take them very seriously. My only edit would have been to take out “Men” and insert “People” to include every human being.. If you really take in the words “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”…..ah, how blissful! Yes, these are our rights and if we would only go back to the simplicity of the words, perhaps we could find peace among everyone. The year 1776 was probably a simpler time yet now we are making sure that these documents in place are upheld for everyone where no one is left out. Two hundred and thirty-nine years later, we are still fighting about these three basic unalienable rights and in some cases taking them away from the people for which they serve.

Last week, a family member from the South Carolina murder victims was quoted “hate is very strong but love is stronger.” We have to hold onto that fact and live our lives every single moment to overcome the fear and hate that surrounds us each day. When love is at the forefront in a person’s life, the quality of that life is much sweeter, much more fulfilling and reaps the greater rewards. If you don’t believe me, just recall a time in your life when you felt your happiest. What did it feel like? What was occurring? When the going get tough, don’t we typically wish for happier times or when we felt loved the most? So why would any of us chose to hate? It’s wasted energy which often delivers a joyless outcome for both the giver and the receiver.

We have to stop making life so complicated. Let everyone be happy!! Why is this so hard to do? There has been so much effort to keep same sex marriage from being legal. Crazy!! When people love each other, shouldn’t they marry if they choose? Why keep people from being happy? Isn’t that one of my unalienable rights or is it a conditional right? Once there were laws on the books to making interracial marriages illegal. It was finally legalized in 1966 and people still frown at it. Give it up, and learn how to love!! We are determined to find our slice of happiness in all areas of our lives and pursue it.

Now that a major hurdle was overcome last week with legalizing same sex marriage making ALL marriage is legal, our real work begins. We have to teach people love; we have to erode the gaps of hate to where they are non-existent. We have had lifetimes of putting hate into the culture that it will take a few lifetimes to make love the predominate conversation. And we can do it….I believe we can because love is stronger. Because love always wins!!!!

So as we celebrate the 4th of July this weekend with friends and families, enjoy cookouts and fireworks, I ask that we extend our hand to someone who we may not have welcomed at the last 4th of July. Be a bridge of love, not a gap of hate. Happy Fourth of July and may our road to independence be full of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.