(My Clovis News Journal column for August 8, 2014.)
Perfect happiness. It may not be possible as a permanent condition in life, but you can still experience moments of perfect happiness if you know where, and how, to look.
Even while people calling themselves "government" work to steal happiness right out of your pocket and regulate or criminalize the bits they can't take.
If you can't find some happiness in a police state, you probably wouldn't be happy in a free society, either. There will always be something to complain about, and there will always be thieves and bullies trying to bring you down to their level. Don't let them.
Happiness and freedom mean doing exactly what you want to be doing right now- even if it doesn't appear wonderful to people looking in from the outside. As long as you are respecting the rights of everyone else to do the same, it's no one's business what you do.
So, what little moments of perfect happiness do I find?
A few nights ago I sat out under the stars. The temperature was perfect and no mosquitoes were bothering me. As I sat there looking up I saw a meteor flash across the sky. I listened to cattle in the distance, and heard the hooting of an owl a time or two. There was nothing I would have preferred to be doing right then.
Earlier in the day I had felt joy while listening to a woman talking about one of her life's passions- and even more joy because what she loved to do was entirely voluntary and violated no one in any way.
My daughter often brings me these moments, as well.
Almost every day I'll suddenly think "Right this moment, I am really happy!"
I want others to feel this same contentment and freedom, doing things which make them happy while not violating others or their property. I am content to leave you alone to pursue your own happiness, and I want others to not meddle in your life, as well.
Sometimes, I even feel happiness when exposed to the liberty-killing coercion of government. I recently felt amusement, exhilaration, and joy watching a man rip up a citation from some wildlife officers, put it in a trash can, turn his back, and walk away as they gaped after him. Little acts of self-ownership such as this are very inspiring. It gives me hope there is still a little of the American spirit left in the people of the USA; the spirit which doesn't automatically bow down to "authorities" and reflexively comply with their demands. Yes, life is good.