I know..you think I got the phrase wrong. It’s supposed to be Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. But with all due respect to our Founding Fathers—I’d like to change it.
Not that happiness isn’t a wonderful thing to work towards, but it isn’t sufficient for us in the 21st century. Written in the 18th century, the pursuit of Happiness made sense because lives were very tough back then. A little bit of happiness looked like a pretty good outcome for all the hard work of a life that had the liberty to pursue happiness. Let’s keep in mind though, back then, millions had no liberty and their pursuit of happiness didn’t even get a chance. So, while our democracy of the 18th century was a far step from say the 15th century where most everyone was under the thumb of a small ruling class it still had a long way to go. Our democracy of the 18th century it did not have a vision for what we expect in the 21st century—women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights, etc. So when they wrote, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it was the right line for its time.
Over the last two centuries, much has changed, though yes, lots more still needs changing. One big thing that has changed just in the last fifty years or so is the awareness that human beings are physical, emotional, thinking, sexual and spiritual beings. This is the framework for wholeness and provides a new template for building vibrant and dynamic lives.
Definition for Happiness: the state of being happy. “she struggled to find happiness in her life“ ; pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment, exuberance, exhilarations, elation, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, bliss, blissfulness, euphoria…..
You can see, based on this definition of happiness it has very little to do with wholeness. Again—everything in the definition of happiness is wonderful but it is contains only a small portion of what we would factor in for wholeness. All wholeness has happiness in it, but not all happiness has wholeness in it. And it is time we moved to wholeness. It reflects eons of human development, with self-awareness and consciousness becoming ever-more visible. Limiting ourselves to the pursuit of happiness doesn’t make sense anymore. Let’s pursue wholeness and end up with far more dynamic lives, stronger relationships, deeper community with others and a world that can see that life, liberty and the pursuit of wholeness makes more sense for us all.
Here at Triangle Whole, Well & Good, we’re all about helping you on your path to wholeness!