Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness

May 23, 2017
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Listen to episode 163 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness. Edited & adapted from a speech by David Starr Jordan.

Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Among the inalienable rights of Americans, as history has taught us, are these three: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." So long as we are alive and free, we will, in one way or another, seek that which gives us pleasure — hence life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in essence the same. But the pursuit of happiness is an art in itself. To seek it is not necessarily to find it, and failure may destroy both liberty and life. Of some phases of this pursuit, I wish to speak today.

My message is an old one. If by good chance some part of it is true, this truth is as old as life itself. And if it be true, it is a message that needs to be repeated many times to each generation of citizens. It is one of the laws of life that each acquisition has its cost. No organism can exercise power without yielding up part of its substance.

The natural law of transfer of energy is the basis of human success and happiness. There is no action without expenditure of energy, and if energy be not expended, the power to generate it is lost. This law shows itself in a thousand ways in the life of the individual. The arm which is not used becomes feeble. The wealth which comes by chance, weakens and destroys. The good which is unused turns to evil. The charity which asks no effort "cannot relieve the misery it creates."

The truth which someone else has won from nature or from life is not our truth until we have lived it. The only things that become real or helpful to anyone are those which have cost the sweat of our brow, the effort of our brain, or the anguish of our soul.

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