19 Comments
Jul 13, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

Reading your short article here was in itself a sort of serenity prayer: thoughtful, intelligent, inspiring, and wreathed with humility. Thank you for this.

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Cheers, thanks for taking the time

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Jul 13, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

Modern readers are easily confused by the phrase "pursuit of happiness" because we tend to think of happiness as piling up goodies and walking around with a smile on your face and not a care in the world. But that's not what the founders meant by the word.

They were thinking of happiness in the Aristotelean sense of "eudaimonia", a thoughtful, lifelong pursuit of perfect balance among the virtues to achieve the ultimate purposes of human existence.

Because we've lost the original idea, we now, among other atrocious innovations, treat the Constitution as a contract whereby the government gives us the things we want to make us "happy". Returning to our original understanding of "the pursuit of happiness" would help us remember what American liberty is supposed to be all about.

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Beautifully put

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Jul 13, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

"Pursuit of happiness", to me, is pretty clear and elegant. I am not guaranteed happiness, but am allowed to pursue happiness.

It is similar to the misunderstanding around "health care is a right". The pursuit of health care is a right, but health care, itself, is not a right and can never really be a right. If you legally make health care, or happiness, a right then the government must provide it. There is no possible way the government can meet the legal requirements of that responsibility - at least not in a free society. Even in a totalitarian state it would be effectively impossible. Sure, the government could force people to become doctors, surgeons, nurses, and caregivers, but the quality of the health care would be poor.

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Agreed, many people don’t read (or contemplate) the fine print though

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Jul 14, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

"For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as a by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself." -- Victor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning".

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Beautiful

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Jul 17, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

This piece spoke to my heart. I have forwarded it to all of my children.

Thank you.

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Thanks for giving it your time and attention, I’m glad you got something out of it.

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Jul 14, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

What a wonderful piece! I will be sharing this with my 21 year old son who has one more year of college before he is free to "pursue."

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Thank you for giving it your time, cheers.

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Jul 13, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

Wonderfully written!

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Thank you

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Love this piece. It speaks to the challenging moment I find myself in. Thanks.

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Thanks for taking the time, all the best on your travails

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Jul 13, 2022Liked by Rienard Knight-Laurie

I think 'the pursuit of happiness' is both simple and profound. People don't have the right to BE happy, but they do have the right to try. That's all it's saying. Happiness is not guaranteed, only that you are free to attempt to get happiness yourself.

Personally, I suspect Khan was pretty happy and content. I'd much rather be Khan than the Buddha. Nirvana sounds boring.

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I don’t totally agree re: Khan, but I get it. I honestly try to balance the two, both are essentially extremes. We need a bit of Khan and a bit of Buddha at times. Thanks for reading.

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