Tuesday, July 4, 2006


I ran 4.5 miles this morning in just under 35 minutes. While doing that, I both contemplated and exercised my unalienable rights:

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.

Life: This is one of the reasons I started running 3 years ago. At that point, I was technically obese (BMI of just over 30) and, with family history of high BP, high cholesterol, Type II diabetes, and heart disease, I wanted to do what I could to extend both the quality and length of my life.

Liberty: OK, this is stretching it a bit, but I am free to choose whether or not to do something about my health. So, today I chose to do something positive about it -- I ran. But, at least where I live, I'm also simply free to run without worrying about harrassment from some petty, tyrannical government official. Working with and around folks who live in some 140 countries around the world, I don't take that freedom for granted as much as I might under other circumstances.

Pursuit of Happiness: I like the fact that the founding fathers recognized and stated that Happiness is not the right but the pursuit of Happiness is. There are lots of ways to be happy. I'm grateful to be a part of a family in which I'm happy. While I would be glad to get rid of some of the facets of my job, I am involved in something that has eternal significance and that brings a great deal of satisfaction, which is at least one part of happiness. In a physical and mental sense, running is another way that I pursue happiness -- good health, relief of stress, the chance to think through stuff are all contributors to happiness.

Wouldn't it be great if every government recognized those rights? All men (read, humans) are created equal and so deserve to enjoy those rights.

...even young people tire and drop out ... but those who wait upon God get fresh strength ... they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind. Isaiah 40:30-31 (The Message)
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