It’s Carnival time again. It’s time to “jump up, jump up! Uh-oh free up, free up! Oy-oye!” according to the 1989 Road March song “Free Up” by Christopher ‘Tambu’ Herbert.
Nothing is wrong with enjoying oneself with an exciting, fun-filled jump-up for Carnival, enjoying the company of friends and family, good calypsoes , toppling off our chairs listening to good commentary and come-backs in Extempo, and so on! But some persons equate “freedom” with doing whatever we want, whenever we want and however we want! Unfortunately, this often means a great deal of irresponsibility by some folks who think this is what “freedom” is all about.
True freedom, however, does not equal irresponsibility. “Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1734 notes. So in other words, once we do something consciously and voluntarily (not under the influence of someone else) we are responsible for it.
So who do we blame when the music gets to our heads and we act “like ah raging bull…trampling everywhere” and we “start tuh get on bad” and “start tuh wine” as the Road March continues. We were under the influence of someone else’s lyrics (and perhaps some alcohol!) It’s not our fault because we were not “free” to enjoy ourselves without such influencing, pulse-racing, enjoyable music jamming in our heads! It is so much easier to blame it on the music than to take responsibility for some of the indecent behaviour seen at fetes and on Carnival Monday and Tuesday nowadays. Yet what we must do to be “truly” free is to take responsibility for our actions.
Former Road March King Christopher ‘Tambu’ Herbert, by the way, only sings for the Lord now according to his website.
Freedom is a good thing and freedom should lead to more freedom, not slavery. Choosing vices goes against our freedom. CCC #1733 states that “the choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of Freedom and leads to the slavery of sin”. Vices, then, are an abuse of true freedom.
Here is an example of how vice can lead to slavery. In 2013, Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to 937 criminal counts. He was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping, raping and beating three young girls over 11 years. When they got pregnant, he beat the child out of them and buried the child in the backyard. “My addiction to pornography and sexual addiction in general has taken a toll on my mind,” he told the judge. Vices often lead to addictions. An addiction is a real slavery; ask anyone who has successfully managed to get rid of an addiction.
We should have Sexual Freedom, we can all agree on this. If, however, we cannot say “no” to our sexual desires we remain at the level of the animals and we are not free. In fact, we become “slaves” to our sexual desires if we cannot say “no” to them. Human beings, unlike the animals, have freedom, intellect and will-power which we CAN use to say “no” to our sexual desires.
The Billings Ovulation Method® calls for times of waiting. This means that couples have to say “no” to their sexual desires for a period of time. If a woman has a regular 28-day cycle that would usually mean having to “wait” for about 14 of those 28 days. Billings forces us to answer this question: are we just indulging our animal instincts or, rather, are we truly free, to be gift to one another?
Freedom is that ability to choose behaviours, not just anything we want but what is right and what is good. True Love is all about wanting what is good for our beloved. The Billings Ovulation Method® gives couples the freedom to love!
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