November 26, 2003 -- Trying to promote freedom and reason in Washington, D.C. can be a bit depressing. Following the goings-on here in the capital through television, newspapers and the Internet can also be a downer. Thus we all have all the more reason to welcome the Thanksgiving holiday, which focuses our thoughts on the good things in life.
Our pilgrim forefathers celebrated the fact that they had enough food so that they would not starve to death on the shores of their new homeland. In the nearly four centuries that followed, their descendants -- including us today -- have created the most prosperous country the world has ever known. And this is the key point: We have created our own blessings.
Yes, circumstances beyond our control determine our starting point in life, but they do not determine our end point. Yes, accidents or misfortunes might make it tougher to achieve our goals, but we live in a political regime founded on the principle that each individual should be free to pursue his or her own goals. And let us reflect upon the fact that while we deserve the right to the pursuit of happiness, ultimately we must choose happiness as a goal in life. We must choose to exercise our rational faculty; we must choose to be productive, responsible individuals of honesty and integrity; and we must choose to understand that each of us is worthy and capable of being happy and flourishing in life. And it is this love of life that ultimately will motivate us to fight for the freedom that we deserve. Thus, if Thanksgiving causes us to reflect on the blessings that we have created, it could also help to create the culture necessary for us to win more battles here on the D.C. front.