The Declaration of Dependency. The unalienable right to Death, Bondage and the pursuit of Unhappiness.

4 02 2011

Certain unalienable rights are presumably "granted" by one creator

The Declaration of Independence states. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence represents the cornerstone of the “American way of life”. Presumably it stands for something more. The belief is that all people everywhere, regardless of race, creed or color are born with certain “rights”… just because they are alive.

Sounds like a noble ideal. Fairly incontestable. However, for this postulate to be true, it’s inverse must also be held as “self-evident”. After all, independence depends upon choice. If someone else is making a choice for you- be it your parent, friend, employer, or government- you’re not independent. You’re not free to choose. You’re a slave. In robbing you of choice, you’re dignity has been stripped away.

It matters not if I agree or disagree with your choices. It’s irrelevant that your choices appear unhealthy, unrighteous, or even blatantly self destructive. You have the inalienable right to exercise your freedom of choice.

You have the right to Death- whether by slow burn, by gluttonous rampage, by the alcoholic installment plan, or by an ignoble explosion of unprotected sexual promiscuity.

You have the right to Bondage- whether by emotional dependency to your lover, perpetual underemployment, numbing out in front of TV five hours a day, or by burgeoning indebtedness.

You have the right to pursue your own particular brand of Unhappiness- Whatever makes you feel miserable, depressed, negative, isolated, hopeless… you maintain the exclusive right to pursue what makes you most unhappy. If you grow weary with one brand of misery, you are free to try another.

We all have the right to our particular brand of death, bondage and the pursuit of unhappiness

If I attempt to step in, force you to change, try to rescue you… I am robbing you of your rights. In principle, it doesn’t matter if it is your right to a particular brand of happiness or unhappiness. It doesn’t matter that I am well meaning and believe I am exercising compassion. In my attempts to control or coerce you – whether by stick or carrot – I “take” something from you. Specifically, I rob you of your your human dignity.

There certainly are exceptions in matters of minor children or with those who impinge upon the “rights” of others in the exercise of their free will. Strong intervention is called for and appropriate. Hence the plethora of laws, rules, regulations, anon. However, I think most would agree that government intervention has grown to preposterous proportions. “The Lord’s Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words.” Notwithstanding, government bureaucracy, we need to keep to “our side of the street”. “Live and Let Live”.

I admit, it is hard. It’s heartbreaking to see a loved one suffer. See them continually make choices that represent gross self destruction. We should engage. We need to let our voice be heard. Be honest. Be bold. We must exercise our right to our own opinion and viewpoint and let that be known to those we care about. That is love versus apathy. However, we must always remember that it is ultimately their life. It belongs to them. They own it. To assume otherwise is trespassing. and violating. and plain dumb. and doesn’t work anyway.