I think there are truths that are codified in various religious traditions and then there are truths that are woven into the human heart and are known as self-evident.
Life-liberty-pursuit of happiness is what likely comes to mind if you happen to be an American but I am sure those three truths are just as vital to anyone throughout the world.
Life and liberty are well visited rights but pursuit of happiness is hard to define but it is considered an inalienable right.
When Barak Obama was elected president the first time, one of the things that made my heart sing with joy was the notion that there were African Americans that, for the first time ever, as little children, could envision their grown up selves as President of the United States. Their dreams had no limits. White upper and middle class males have enjoyed this privilege for generations but it is essential to everyone but denied most. Many women have never experienced this sensation of possessing limitless potential.
Last Tuesday, I was in the depths of a relentless depression. My temperament is not well suited to idleness and, like a border collie, if I don’t have a job, I will find myself in trouble one way or another. Tuesday was a typical dark cold wet miserable day and I knew I was rejected from Temple Pharmacology but I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic about the other four programs for that matter. School has started again and I feel forced to the margin again instead of being in the center of something dynamic.
Additionally, I was worried sick about the outcome of Julianna’s application to the STEM Academy.
While I was shopping for groceries, Pat texted me the simple message, “Stem just contacted me with their decision.” It didn’t sound positive and I had to drive home before I could respond to that text. I had no idea how I was going to break the news that Julianna was declined admissions to STEM when her heart was set on going and the philosophy of the STEM Academy was compatible with Julianna’s learning style.
As it turned out, I was crying with deep relief when I called pat who quickly told me she was, in fact, accepted into STEM.
The waves of relief were overwhelming and I still feel echoes of that sensation in my spirit. We took her to Chilis to celebrate such a fine accomplishment and stopped off at the proximal strip mall and Pat went to Home Depot while Julianna and I picked up a few basics at Staples. While we were alone together, Julianna said that if felt as though a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. She also said she feels like she could do anything; anything she set her mind to.
Fresh tears cascaded down my cheeks and the more I think of this the more profound it seems in my spirit. Pursuit of happiness, she will get to chase her dreams!
But what about the dreams that were conceived but not allowed to completely gestate within my spirit? Why does this culture dismiss me because they consider me old? This, I am discovering, is the root of the depression that I can get out of my system and I can assure anyone that is reading this; I have two choices, giving up my dreams will kill me or I can fight this and fight for all the other people that have been forced to give up audacious dreams and settle for existing rather than living and be what exists in my hopes and imagination. I want to use the talents God has given me. I want to leave the world a better place than I found.
Pursuit of happiness Note: our right is not happiness but the pursuit.