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.” – Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
Habitually Chic has always been a place to come to see something pretty or learn something new. I try to avoid controversial topics and provocative subjects so I thought long and hard about what to say if anything after the election. I don’t care who you voted for and this is not a political post. This is a post about people. The stories of violence against Muslims, women, gays, African Americans, Asians, and others in the last two days has upset me deeply. To ignore them and not say anything is to be complicit.
I live in New York which is one of the most diverse cities in America. I was thinking about this today as I walked 20 blocks to an appointment and looked at all the different faces I passed and listened to all the different accents and languages I heard along the way. But we don’t just pass a diverse population on the street, we know them. They are our friends and neighbors. We know their stories and how hard they work to support their families and strive for the American dream.
I thought about this as I stopped by my newsstand and bought magazines from the Pakistani owner. I thought about this as I met with a PR friend who was adopted from China as a baby by a family in the midwest. I thought about this as I talked to my gay friend on the phone about what’s been going on and texted my African American friend to please be careful when she leaves the city. I texted about these scary times with a Jewish friend who’s had her own experiences with antisemitism.
New Yorkers are labeled liberal like it’s a dirty word. Liberal is a “philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.” We are also inclusive because we can see the Statue of Liberty and remember that millions of immigrants came through our city on their way to a better life. Just because some of our ancestors came here from Europe generations ago does not mean that new immigrants today should not have the same rights simply because their skin is darker or they come from a different part of the world.
Violence against anyone because they are different in any way is not the answer because while we may look different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside. We may have voted for different candidates, but we owe it to ourselves and our country to all get along.
As President Obama said yesterday, “We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team…We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”