Benjamin Franklin said there were two sure things in life, death and taxes. I guess that is true. Although I have a long way to go, I hope, I do know that I am growing older. Last month, some good friends of mine celebrated the 30th birthday of their eldest son. He just had a trip to Asia. He has grown what he calls a yeard, (a beard that has hardly seen scissors for 365 days). That is all well and good, but I can still remember the small boy I met some quarter of a century ago. He was a small boy who was always accepting, asked questions, and liked to laugh. Now suddenly he is a man of thirty travelling half way around the world. He has changed a great deal. I like to think that I haven't changed so much. I am still the same as when I first met this boy now man, aren't I? The mirror lies of course. There is grey in my beard that used to be very dark brown. There are a few wrinkles in my face that weren't there when this man with a yeard was just a boy. Isn't it just the mirror lying to me? Or have I really aged? My spirit says don't trust the mirror, but my head tells me that yes, I have changed. I am hopefully thousands of kilometres away from death's door, but my head tells me that I am inching, hopefully very slowly, towards that threshold.
The other thing we can't avoid is taxes. Now I may be a strange one. I don't mind paying taxes. Oh sure I use deductions to try to reduce what I pay, but in the end I gladly fork over my money to the government. I know that it is used to fund education of our children, provide health care to the sick, pave our roads, provide grants to the arts, help the poor, and countless other things that our government does. Yes I might cringe when I read about politicians retiring with gold plated pension schemes. I feel anger when I hear about corruption and abuse of power by government officials. I get upset when certain people, like the very wealthy, seem to benefit more in budgets and the most vulnerable, like those in aged care facilities, see their funding cuts. If I was running government, I would have different priorities. But in the end, I know that the taxes I begrudgingly pay each year, benefit everyone to some degree.
Some people are certain that they are very self sufficient. They reason that they work hard so they have earned everything that they have. Why do they need to take care of others? Why can't the others just take care of themselves? I know I like to thing of myself as independent. I work. I pay my bills. I am responsible for myself. But I know I don't do things all by myself. I cannot build safe buildings, so I rely on the skills of others. I can't fix my car, so I rely on mechanics. I can't dance ballet, so I let others do that. I might be able to do many things all by myself, but I rely on doctors, dentists, farmers, mechanics, airline pilots, scientists, road builders, engineers , teachers, nurses, and a whole bunch of other characters to allow me to live independently. So paying taxes allows others to do their work which allows me to live as I do. Paying taxes and helping to care for others in society, allows me to go on with the illusion that I am completely independent. Like death and growing older, taxes are unavoidable. But I believe that is a good thing. Blessings.