Temperance education

Educating in temperance can be complicated at times, especially when the environment, such as the current one, does not invite to restrain any appetite. However, it is key to the maturation of any person.

José María Contreras-November 3, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

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Temperance, like any virtue, is tremendously positive: It makes the person capable of being master of himself and puts order in sensitivity, affectivity, tastes and desires.

That is why, when a child makes a wish and we parents deny it, it is easy for us to give answers like "we can't afford it" or something like that. That's only part of the truth, and it also tends to make children see sobriety as something negative; they think that when we have more money we will do it. We won't.

Temperance provides us with a balance in the use of material goods that frees us to aspire to higher goods.

To educate in austerity one must have courage: it often requires facing one's children and the current of society. But that is the way. Either you have that courage or you do nothing.

Pleasure is good, we cannot be foolish enough to think that it is something negative for the person. But neither can we fall into the temptation of denying that man is a being who, by nature, has disordered passions. Paul of Tarsus said that "he did the evil that he did not want to do and that he failed to do the good that he wanted to do". It is to be supposed that this was not always the case, but even if it was something punctual, he complained about it.

It is as if evil had inserted itself into the human heart and man had to defend himself against it. When we say yes, everything is easy. Facilities with uneasiness many times, but facilities.

We have to get used to saying no to ourselves and in that inner struggle to do good, sometimes with victories and sometimes with defeats, is when the peace we desire comes. To say no in many occasions is to move away from evil.

How many addictions, which are causing so many people to suffer, could have been avoided if children had been educated to deny themselves that which is harmful to them, that which is objectively bad.

There are people who are unable to say "no" to the impulses of the environment or to the desires of those around them. They are depersonalized people, they are not free because they are driven by the desires of others without being able to renounce them.

To say "no" to some things is, in the end, to commit oneself to others. It is a way of demonstrating to oneself that one has values.

Saying "no" means committing to what we really value and making it known with our life, with what we do.

A person who does not strive to live sobriety, temperance, ends up being unable to say no to the sensations that the environment awakens in him. He ends up seeking happiness in false, fleeting sensations, which, because they are fleeting, never satisfy.

A friend told me that his young son had asked him why, if he had money, he did not take advantage of it and always asked for the best in restaurants. I took the opportunity to explain to him that sobriety, temperance, does not depend on having a lot or little money. They are virtues, values that one has to live independently of the cost or the payer. Thus a person with a lot of money can be sober and temperate and a poor person can be very little temperate.

Temperance is indispensable to bring some order to the chaos that evil imposes on human nature.

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