Freedom From & Freedom To
When I was a missionary in Mozambique we spent time exploring the African bush, which was remarkable, by the way. One of my missionary friends asked the guide how they find water to drink when they are thirsty?
Our guide explained how they set-up salt-traps for the baboons. Where we were in Mozambique, water was scarce but baboons were plentiful, and those in the bush know baboons love salt. So what do the bush-folk do? They put a big lump of salt in a hole and wait for the baboon. The baboon comes, sticks his hand in the hole and grabs the salt. The salt makes the baboon’s hand bigger, and the baboon’s hand is now trapped in the hole. But the baboon loves salt so much that it won’t let go of the salt. So the men who live in the bush come and grab the baboon, throw it in a cage and feed it a bunch of salt. What happens next? The baboon becomes thirsty and they release it knowing it will run directly to the water. The bush men follow the baboon to the stream, and voila…
Today, we are the baboons. The salt is cheap dopamine.
Baboons are addicted to salt. We are addicted to cheap dopamine. Addicted in the sense that we refuse to let go of the temporary pleasures even while knowing the addiction creates negative consequences.
There is an important lesson we should learn from the baboon, it is called Freedom From & Freedom To:
In order to get freedom to, you must get freedom from… Don’t be a baboon.
- [Financial] Freedom to buy whatever you want requires freedom from compulsively buying whatever you want.
- [Physical] Freedom to enjoy a six-pack (abs) requires freedom from enjoying six-packs (beers).
- [Psychological] Freedom to enjoy peace of mind requires freedom from consuming anything stealing your peace of mind.
- [Relational] Freedom to enjoy people who help you build a better life requires freedom from people who helped you build a bitter life.
- [Spiritual] Freedom to worship God requires freedom from worshiping god(s).
- [Time] Freedom to control your time allocation requires freedom from things controlling your time allocation.
Everyone wants freedom to. Few will do the work required to receive freedom from.