When we talk about the right to “pursue happiness”, we are saying we have the right to pursue that which will make us happy. I’d like to open this up and simply say that we have the right to be happy.
When judging the level of my own happiness, I can come up with lots of reasons not to be happy. The mistakes I’ve made, the money I make, the opportunities I’ve missed, pain I’ve suffered from the actions of others, etc. Of course, I have a lot of reasons to be happy too, but they’re often drowned out by the unhappy. But then, there is this right we have. I have the right to be happy regardless of my circumstances. I have the right to feel joy simply because I exist. No matter what’s happened or ever will happen, nothing can take that right away from me. No one has the power over my happiness but me.