Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamp of the not quite yet and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to realize. The world you desire can be yours. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."--Ayn Rand

When I was 26 years old I read the book, Atlas Shugged by Ayn Rand. It was a huge endeavor--the book is 1,200 pages. It think it took me a week to read, but I remember that I couldn't put it down.  The book made an impact on me not so much because the writing sang like poetry.  No, there are other books I've read that do that it and it feels like eating candy.  It was the plot of Atlas Shrugged and its profound philosophical message that hooked me to the core.

For days after I finished the book, Ayn Rand's theoretical questions haunted me so much that I immediately picked up her other book--The Fountainhead--and dived into her work again. I remember this now because I watched a documentary of Ayn Rand last night. The film producers make the case that Ayn Rand's prophetic tale in Atlas Shrugged is coming true today. The failing economy, government regulations multipling by the day--these were the horrors Rand predicted when she published Atlas Shrugged in 1957.

But enough about the politics of her novel.  It is Rand's passionate belief in the individual's right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness that rings so true for me. Her philosphy is called Objectivism. Rand was a victim of communist Russia. Like so many others who come to this country after being held back in a communist nation, she was fierce about protecting America's capitalistic society.

On a personal level, I am once again inspired by Ayn Rand's message. Our goverment can't take away  all our property and the money we earn just because politicans believe everyone should be equal and there should be no economic disparity. Here in this country, we are truly lucky. We can pursue our own happiness. We can make our dreams come true.


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