With reference to the pursuit of happiness, I have learned that happiness is not all about the pleasures and properties I have in my life, but it is also about getting and maintaining what is rightfully mine. With respect to this understanding, I have learned that our founding fathers fought for our independence because they understood the importance of natural rights. In this regard, they did not satisfy themselves with the rights the colonial master offered to them, but they fought to get what was rightfully theirs (Greene 310). In other words, our founding fathers understood the importance of the unalienable rights the colonial master denied them even though no one could take away those rights from our founding fathers. As a result, I have understood how the pursuit of happiness contributed to the declaration of American independence.
In this regard, I have learned that being a historian is a good thing because it helps in appreciating the past and acknowledging its importance in our lives. With respect to this fact, I have understood our past and appreciated its importance in defining our nation. Accordingly, I have learned that historians use documents to uncover what happened in the past and help us appreciate our past thereby their studies are credible. Furthermore, I have learned that historical documents motivate us to become better people by providing information to us. I have learned this through the historical documents I have evaluated and interpreted as I searched for more information about the pursuit of happiness in America. At the same time, I have learned that it is a fundamental issue to have historians in our modern society because they keep and maintain the historical records that we need in our studies. Based on these facts, I have appreciated the importance of history in our lives.
With regard to the happiness’ insights, I have established that being happy is an emotional thing and it depends on the understanding and attitude people have towards it. In this case, our founding fathers had a different understanding and attitude towards happiness than the one we have today. To them, happiness meant stronger ties to independence, but to us, happiness might have a different meaning (Niebuhr 44). At the same time, happiness might have a different meaning depending on the place of origin or the place of residence. Consequently, people from different parts of the world as well as living in different times might have different meanings of happiness. Based on this understanding, I have uncovered different ideas about happiness, but these ideas do not influence my professional goals because I am a retiree. In this regard, I do not have any professional goal except to equip myself with knowledge.
With respect to the ideas I have uncovered about happiness from this study, I have developed new concerns about the effects of happiness in our lives I did not have before. The first concern relates to the factors that motivate us to pursue happiness. With regard to these factors, I wonder how our residential places and the time we live motivate us to pursue happiness. The second concern relates to whether we really understand the type of happiness that we prioritize in our lives as we pursue happiness. In this case, I wonder whether we even distinguish between true happiness and imaginary happiness as we pursue happiness, and if we distinguish between the two, I wonder how this affects the decisions we make about happiness and pursuing it.
Greene, Jack. Imperatives, Behaviors, and Identities: Essays in Early American Cultural History. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992. Print.
Niebuhr, Reinhold, and Andrew Bacevich. The Irony of American History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. Internet resource.