A Pursuit of Happiness

I’ve felt suffocated by the weight of the world lately.

There’s division all around us.
Everything feels so black or white.
There’s no room for differing opinions or actions or beliefs.
We don’t even allow room for growth.

It’s either this. Or that.
You’re either with me. Or against me.
You’re either good. Or evil.

That’s what it feels like.
And it’s suffocating.
That dichotomy isn’t good for happiness–
mine or yours.

I started Project More Happy in the wake of Parkland.
I saw an issue our country couldn’t move past because of this type of thinking.

You’re either for school safety. Or you’re for freedom.
You either love kids. Or don’t care about them.
You either own a gun. Or you hate America.
There’s no middle ground.
And there’s no room for growth.

But the issue isn’t school safety
or freedom
or gun ownership.
The issue is how we value life.
How we value our own life
and how we value the lives of others.

Guns are lethal when the owner doesn’t value life.
Racism exists when society doesn’t value the lives of POC.
Police cross the line when they don’t value the life of a suspect.
Public safety takes a back seat when people don't value the lives of the vulnerable. 

When we learn to value each other,
when we truly see everyone around us as an equal,
when we understand that we are all made of the same matter,
that we are all striving toward a version of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness–
only then can we erase some of this division.

Only then can we effect gun safety,
police brutality,
economic equality
and the hundred other issues plaguing our nation.

Only when we see value in every single human being are we truly human ourselves.

We all have gifts to offer the world.
We all have things to teach others and things to learn from others.
We all have stories that can shape the trajectory of neighborhoods, of cities, of this country. For the better.

Happiness stems from many things –

confidence,
authenticity,
optimism,
compassion,
purpose,
gratitude,
emotional control
and curiosity.

We can each practice these pillars to better understand our own value and worth.

We can practice them to better appreciate the amazingness of the people and world around us.

And we can practice them to build stronger communities,
better workplaces and a more equal, happier world for all.

Your pursuit of happiness matters.
But it doesn’t matter any more or less than someone else’s.

We need to learn this as a country.
We need to learn that we are stronger lifting one another up than tearing one another down.

I don’t want a world that feels so black and white.
I want a world that’s bright and cheerful and full of happiness.
I want a world with more happy.

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