Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness

America is a funny partner on the dance floor; singing one song and dancing to another.

An often-sung phrase from the Declaration of Independence is that the purpose of government is to protect each citizen’s right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Ironically, in terms of life, directly (through overseas military adventures in Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Kosova, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq) and indirectly (as the biggest arms exporter in the world), the US has caused more deaths outside its immediate borders in the past 60 years than any other country  Moreover, as regards liberty, the US has the highest incarceration and solitary confinement rates in the world. As to happiness, the US steers its citizens away from happiness, the hallmark of which is gratitude. Instead, as a consumption-driven economy, its citizens are encouraged to become addicted to never-ending desires.

While singing euphoniously about personal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, clearly the country dances to another tune. This lack of integrity is funny to watch but not if we want to dance and sing until we are one with everything.