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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.
This line is the start of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence of “the thirteen United States of America”. It is well-known to most Americans and serves as an inspiration to others around the world. However, the last four words are misunderstood in the 21st century. The Pursuit of Happiness did not mean chasing after the emotion or the feeling of being “happy”. To the Founders, this term meant living your life as you saw fit. It was about shaping your own destiny, instead of having that destiny shaped for you. That is a high ideal an imperfect nation does not always achieve for its people.