by Deana Chadwell 3/9/19
These concepts – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – are dear, or once were dear, to the hearts of all Americans. These are the sacred rights of all human beings — “sacred” because they are God-given and are not derived from government, rather government’s only mandate is to provide cover for those rights.
However, due to decades of twisted school curricula, and of postmodern, subjective journalism, we’ve arrived at a place where a sizable percentage of our population finds equality, immorality, and environmentalism superior concepts. In fact the left finds these ideas so compelling that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of us all to impose widespread adherence to these new gods.
Equality alone is deadly. Despite its description as “leveling the playing field” there is nothing level, nothing honest about it. The left openly wants to redistribute wealth as if a cosmic unfairness had declared some rich and some poor and government’s job is to rectify that. That attitude might have made sense back in feudal times, when upward mobility was close to impossible, but it makes no sense at all in a society where millions have manufactured their own wealth and the door of possibilities stands wide open. At least for now.
What’s worse is the audacity of some to think that they are the ones with the right to decide who gets what and that becomes even more audacious when you realize what wealth actually is. Whether we talk about the 1% or the middle class, wealth and property are bought with one’s time, effort, and talents. They are purchased with one’s life. After all, that is all that life gives us – time and the capacity to use it productively. To take my property is to help oneself to my life, to say that my production belongs to someone else, not to me. Once a person has convinced himself that he has a right to my life in that sense, it doesn’t take long to assume that he has the right to also take the life of my body.
Perhaps this explains the cavalier attitude of the left toward life in general. Leftists appear to be quite comfortable with killing infants. They’re generally in favor of euthanasia, and many have expressed the willingness to erase the elderly a la Brave New World. They are promoting childlessness as a sacrifice to their environmental deity (it seems not to have dawned on any of them that if we fail to reproduce, they’ll run out of people to push around and steal from). The left stomps about claiming that “Black likes matter,” but their policies, from welfare and abortion to gun laws and lousy schools, have caused the loss of tens of millions of black lives. Life – the greatest gift God has given us – means little to the folks who are fond of quoting, “You have to break a few eggs if you’re going to make an omelet.”
God not only gave us each life, but He also gave us free will – liberty. It is necessary that we have untrammeled volition so that we can be free to choose Him. It is also necessary so that we can each become “all [we] can become,” as Harrison Bergeron so tragically declared in the Kurt Vonnegut story. Along with life and liberty, God has given each of us amazing gifts, and freedom is necessary for us to realize our potential.
We know from Thomas Maslow’s work that we can’t reach our inbred capabilities – he called it self-realization – until our basic animal necessities are met. If we’re starving, or trying to sleep out in the cold, or fighting off an illness, we can’t be painting masterpieces. We have many rock-bottom needs in order to just survive at an animal level, but a society must be able to provide the structure for us to rise above that or our humanity dies. It isn’t enough for our society to give us food, clothing, and shelter – prisons do that. Human beings are designed to hunt for happiness.
Happiness and the pursuit thereof is the last of the triune purpose for America. But what is happiness? Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the University of Chicago beautifully explained for us in his classic Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience. He defined happiness as the state of being when we are so involved in what we are doing that time evaporates – it flows right past us and when we finally stop doing whatever we were engrossed in, we wonder where the time went. We’ve lost track of ourselves, of distractions and moved into a state of “optimal experience.”
After 20 years of following his subjects – they each had a small meter with them that allowed them to record those moments when they were feeling happy –Csikszentmihalyi discovered that in spite of all of us wanting the weekend to get here quickly, his subjects most often recorded happiness when they were working. Work – meaningful work — makes us happy. Not welfare. Not free stuff. Not rest. Not play. Work. People in Venezuela right now are not only lacking the basic necessities of survival, but they have no opportunity for fulfilling work.
Note that our American dream is not happiness, but the pursuit of happiness, which confirms what Csikszentmihalyi found. We want to go after it; we know it can’t just be handed to us. Some part of our souls needs the struggle. I don’t have to sit here and write this, but I want to; doing so pleases my inner-most being. Our president doesn’t have to work. He could just be lolling around his gold-plated penthouse, but he’s working 20-hour days, struggling against horrifying odds, because it is in him to do so.
But the new left is not at all interested in our individual need for fulfillment. The left is not really even aware of the rest of us as human. We are merely the eggs for their omelet and an omelet doesn’t present each egg separately – they’re all whipped up together, one indistinguishable from the rest, and all of them very dead.
These “Justice Democrats” are after beating us all into an homogenized, manageable mass all in the name of equality – which is ridiculous on its face since none of us is like the other – and these folks like to tout “social justice” and at the same time encourage every kind of immorality and injustice imaginable. They appear to be on the side of pedophilia, of human trafficking, of terrorism. They appear to be playing fast and loose with immigration and campaign finance laws. They are willing to falsify votes in a dozen different ways and they don’t mind being complicit in America’s slavery 2.0 – illegal immigration. Immorality is their second god.
But their biggest idol is the environment — Mother Earth – Gaia — their mighty goddess, a goddess so fragile that she’ll self-combust if cattle don’t stop digesting and they believe that all of us – not them — but all of us should be sacrificed at its altar. Life be damned. Liberty be damned. The pursuit of happiness has no place in this budding dystopia. Earth only has room for the power-hungry to wallow in their useless, miserable might.
In some way, at some time in the future all this will be rectified. God, the author of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, will wipe the grins off the faces of the evil and will set His Son on the throne and the Earth will again be what she once was and we’ll all become what He designed us to become – blessedly happy.
Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking.
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