Courtesy of Victoria Pynchon, is a connection between America’s Founding Fathers’ enshrining the "pursuit of happiness" and the definition of happiness according to certain Greek philosophers. For your Sunday morning inspiration, I have provided the following excerpt from her blog post:
The Pursuit of Happiness
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.
We know that the founders didn’t have week-end spa retreats, golfing getaways, or new BMW’s in mind when they included in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence the right of all "men" to pursue happiness. So what did these men of the American Enlightenment mean?
They meant eudaimonia, an Aristotelian concept defined "not by honor, or wealth, or power,
but by rational activity in accordance with virtue over a complete life. "
This type of activity manifests the virtues of character, including, honesty, pride, friendliness, and wittiness; the intellectual virtues, such as rationality in judgment; and non-sacrificial (i.e. mutually beneficial) friendships and scientific knowledge (knowledge of things that are fundamental and/or unchanging is the best).