Too much freedom, too little discipline

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The paradox of freedom, in relation to our nation and people, is not too unlike sugar, in relation to our physical health. For, whilst we need sugar for survival, too much of it can be extremely destructive. And so, it is with freedom. During the days of slavery and oppression, when our heroes had to struggle to free our people and nation, and even during Martial Law, freedom was the ultimate dream of our people. But after we have gained it, we abused it, we misused it, we even squandered it. We use freedom as an excuse to cover up for our excesses and overindulgence. And so, we reap the consequences of our abuses.

In this country, there is too much freedom to talk, write and use the social media. Radio and TV hosts talk nonsensically and licentiously, without regard to the rights of others to privacy and human dignity. Print media reporters intrude into the domains of private dwellings and private lives, all in the name of public service. Opinion writers exceed the bounds of the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression, by invading into confidential domains, and expressing highly arrogant and self-righteous views. If Pope Francis would be asked about all those, he might even quip: Who are we to judge? That is precisely our main problem. In the name of freedom, we are a very judgmental people.  

Using freedom as our cover, we throw away garbage - both literal and figurative - into the environment. People spit anywhere, relieve themselves in any corner, and blame the government for not putting up toilets everywhere. Papers, bottles and cans are dumped along the highway, without any sense of guilt nor moment of hesitation.Men drink liquor in sidestreets, children roam half naked. This is a free country and because of that freedom, we ravage our environment, ruin the balance of nature, uproot century-old trees and pollute our rivers, lakes and canals. And then, we blame the government for floods and inundations. All because of Freedom.

Because of freedom, we elect morons and imbeciles and stupid officials and then complain a lot when their stupidity yields some stupid decisions. We rally against them and attack them also because of freedom. Many of our local government officials are good and brilliant, a few are even excellent. They can be President. But a great number of them are stupid results of our senseless use of freedom. They are not only useless but even destructive. They are completely without brains, without hearts, without conscience. And yet, they win elections because they have the freedom to buy votes. And the voters have the freedom to sell their future.

Yes, freedom is like sugar. When we have an overdose of it, we get diabetes and all its complications, destroying all our internal organs. Freedom can kill. But without it, we cannot survive. The secret is moderation. Freedom with a large dose of responsibility is what our country needs. Our people must learn how to use freedom without destroying the rights of others. For, as the sage would say: "Your freedom to swing your arms ends where my nose begins."

[email protected]


vuukle comment










  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with