Going into the last weekend before the big TAX DAY, I had to write a post about the date on Monday.
In the USA, we have the privilege of paying our tax bill by April 15. This year it falls on a Monday. That date can be a source of stress for a lot of Americans. There are those of us who file our taxes early, but quite a few of us put postage on the envelope on the last day available…just before midnight! Or ask for an extension…
This year, it only took me five hours to finish my tax return. I still had to wait for some paperwork from some other people to completely finish. But I was done in five hours.
That was with the help of a tax software program. Without that…perhaps a month!
While I was filing I was reminded of a quote I have heard over and over that definitely rings true during the month of April in America: “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Our culture today is not certain. We are wishy-washy. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Right? It happens all the time. Whoever is pushing their agenda the loudest is heard most. Elections are won with lots of money and lots of campaigning.
Is there anything certain besides death and taxes? Here is what Ben Franklin had to say to a friend of his that provided us with this quote:
TO JEAN BAPTISTE LE ROY (Philadelphia, November 13, 1789)
It is now more than a year, since I have heard from my dear friend Le Roy. What can be the reason? Are you still living? Or have the mob of Paris mistaken the head of a monopolizer of knowledge, for a monopolizer of corn, and paraded it about the streets upon a pole.
Great part of the news we have had from Paris, for near a year past, has been very afflicting. I sincerely wish and pray it may all end well and happy, both for the King and the nation. The voice of Philosophy I apprehend can hardly be heard among those tumults. If any thing material in that way had occurred, I am persuaded you would have acquainted me with it. However, pray let me hear from you a little oftener; for, though the distance is great, and the means of conveying letters not very regular, a year’s silence between friends must needs give uneasiness.
Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
My health continues much as it has been for some time, except that I grown thinner and weaker, so that I cannot expect to hold out much longer.
My respects to your good brother, and to our friends of the Academy, which always has my best wishes for its prosperity and glory. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe be ever yours most affectionately,
– The full (translated) text of Ben Franklin’s letter to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy.
Ben Franklin may have been on to something in regards to shared life communities. He was apprehending the voice of Philosophy. Interesting thought. He then mentioned to Le Roy if he had gained anything through the Revolution in France, to pass on, or acquaint him with it.
In your communities, are you apprehending a vision that has been given to you? Are you connected with others on that journey? Are you acquainting each other with your findings?
But back to certainty…
Meditating on certainty I desire to share five things that I find are certain to any human experience on this planet…besides death and taxes, of course.
1. Grief is certain. When there is a loss of life, grief is felt by any person connected with the one who’s life was lost.
2. Your beating heart is certain. There is electricity in your body right now. It is causing muscles in your chest to pulsate. Therefore, blood flow is happening and your body is fed and is alive.
3. Wind is certain. When it is a dry, balmy day, you wish for a calm breeze to blow over your life. We all know that this is a temporary pause in the certainty that is wind. Weather systems move constantly and we don’t have to do anything about them. They are certain. And wind comes with them. Catching a breeze is imminent if you are in a dry area currently.
4. Enemies are certain. Because of our human condition, we have picked a side on any particular ideal. Therefore we have enemies in our every day lives. These enemies are not for us. And either they choose to fight us, or we choose to fight them.
5. Trade is certain. Whether it be money for a good or service, or a bartered trade, or a purchased good or service and then gifted to an individual. Trade allows the world to grow. Those who live off the land, trade with the land to keep a cycle of life flowing in their environments.
May we be certain as we apprehend our purpose and vision.
Can you think of other things that you would consider certain? Death and taxes are already taken!