There is no magic formula to finding happiness and a life of freedom and liberty. Like a puzzle it’s a process and one that, after more than 200 years of existence, America is still working to complete. At the core of our Constitution and the rights we’ve been awarded as a free people it all boils down to the value we place on those rights. Without realizing the full value these rights give us they are only words on paper that governments, leaders, lawyers or citizens can easily minimize.
But when we place great value and cherish these rights as one of our most prized possessions, and are willing to risk everything for fear of losing them, we begin to understand their true value.
Let me put it another way. Recently I was visiting an employee who experienced a serious accident while on the job that placed him in the hospital, paralyzed from the shoulders down. We are all praying an operation will restore the full use of his body, but until the results of the operation are realized he is left hoping for the simple things many of us take for granted every day. In speaking with him, the joys of moving his body at will, hugging his wife, children and grandchildren, walking on his own two feet once again and the joy of just living his life will now be the greatest of gifts. When the stark realization of what you’ve lost may never return you truly realize the value of what you’ve lost, and if returned, no day in the future would ever be taken for granted.
If every human being could come to that simple realization, without undergoing the pain of losing or never having known those precious gifts, and be willing to celebrate that same opportunity with every other human life that shares this small planet, how great would this world be and how thankful and respectful would we be toward each other? Oh sure, we would still have problems to resolve, but we would be far more understanding and willing to work with each other to overcome the simple things while valuing the irreplaceable things.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.