Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
by Michael Tubbert
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This is the second sentence in the Preamble to our Declaration of Independence. It is the central principle upon which the whole of our Constitution is based. These values on life and individual freedom and liberty are the foundation that makes the United States of America the greatest among nations.
Within a period of 24 hours, I received two videos; one from my Aunt Beth, the other from my father. Initially the videos are seemingly unrelated, but if there’s one thing my mind likes to do, it is to make connections.
It may seem out of order, but I am going to start with the second of the two videos. This video, sent to me by my Aunt Beth, is a portion of a Fort Worth, TX city council meeting. One of the councilmen used his allotted time to comment on the recent focus on teen suicide rates, especially among the LGBT youth, and to share his own story.
When I moved to the Albany, NY area in the Spring of 2007, I created a profile on a number of social networking sites as a springboard to building a new life and meeting new people in my new hometown. In the beginning I had the typical information describing me as a person who valued “a, b, and c” and enjoyed the company of people who where “x, y, and z.”
During that first summer, I wrote something that I still have a hard time classifying: an essay? a short story?