- Léo’s Insights 2019-2020
- Léo’s Insights 2020-2021
- Léo’s Insights 2021-2022
- Léo’s Insights 2018-2019 Academic Year
We all desire to be free, even if we don’t think about it much. We are born free, even when born in a despotic or dysfunctional society. Freedom is a given. It is a gift. It is what actually defines us as human beings. However, freedom can be taken from us, either by force or insidiously through coercion and manipulation – big words that mean we can be tricked into giving up our natural born freedoms.
I have always questioned the authenticity and practicality of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Not that I disagree with having something in place to protect us from government overreach, but I question how “rights” and “freedoms” can be included in a single document. If we are born free, how it is that we need rights? Could it be that we are tricked into believing the God-given freedoms granted us at birth are protected when exchanged for government- or man-given rights?
Animals have decision making powers, but they are limited in keeping with how they were created or programmed. Blue Jays are free to do what they want, but only within the limited realm of being a Blue Jay. Humans are the only beings that are free to choose within a moral framework that allows them to do good or evil. This is not to say a cat cannot do evil; it does not know better, which is not true of human beings.
The capacity for doing evil allows humans to inflict harm on others. I believe that short of taking another’s physical life, the taking of another’s freedom is one of the most evil activities. This is because taking another’s freedom is to rob him/her of life without killing him/her. At least, that is the idea because those who would rob others of freedom are not benefitted when the victim dies.
Consider that to be in control of anything, there has to be something to control. Biologists understand this form of relationship as parasitism. The parasite sucks life and nutrients from the host, but it is not in the best interest of the parasite to kill the host. The same can be said of those desiring to control people by taking away their freedom.
I have never been one who believed it was acceptable practice to pinion birds to prevent them from flying. To rob anything of freedom in order to benefit ourselves should be seriously evaluated as far as what it costs the victim. There are creatures that seem to be happy while being limited in freedom, however that is because there is no good way of ascertaining whether or not they are content with being incarcerated.
The same can be said for human beings. There are many folks who are completely under the control of others but appear to be okay with that. Is this because they are consciously content with being robbed of freedom or simply completely unaware of what life could be like outside the familiarity of being under someone else’s control? I suspect that with the percentages of people not only agreeing to come under someone else’s authority but actually defending the normality of such, most are not aware of exactly what has been sacrificed for the “privilege” of being in bondage!
Let me end this with a story about a bird that had always been in a cage. When I asked the owner if he ever let the bird out, he responded, “Never.” However, he was intrigued by what the bird would do if the door to the cage was left open. At first the bird was perplexed, but eventually made its way out of the cage to the top. From there, it could have easily flown freely around the house, yet it chose to return to the familiarity of the cage.
Likewise, many people are more comfortable to remain in the familiarity of bondage rather than risk the unknown realities of freedom. They are content with not having freedom which, in a way, is to be free, but they are not free indeed, which is what God created us to be.
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