Is there Really Only Death and Taxes?

There used to be this old saying that there were really only two things in life that were certain, death and taxes. Neither are particularly pleasant so I assume whoever famously said this was not happy with his tax Form 1040 results. Given everything politically going on in our government these days not many of us are happy with our own taxes or the representatives. Is there though just two things in life and are they this dire?


It has been a hard three years in our world. In some respects a war would have been easier because we could have maybe found some ways to detach once in awhile. Going about our daily life concerned with what is going on but the ability nonetheless to do something “normal.” Some say it will take a war to end what is happening in our world too. This pandemic touched every single one of us in more ways than one and there were very few ways to physically or emotionally detach. We felt it economically, mentally, physically and spiritually. Many of our lives are forever changed as a result. Yet, I tend to believe it is not the virus that did that so much as us. Certainly, this illness started it but our own reaction and response were in so many ways worse than a raging war.


There was a meme on social media I saw that said our government successfully made us afraid of air. It was funny but yet sadly true. We have lived in deep fear for the past three years. Fear of hugging someone. Fear of showing our face to smile at another. Fear of seeing our children interact and play with each other. Fear of where our world was headed. Fear of how to protect ourselves. Fear of each other. We have become divided through our fears and we fear breathing deeply which only serves to make it all seems worse.


If we could only write a check to make it go away, I’m sure most of us would at this point. It is intolerable to watch news. Social media is pitted where friendships crumble at the slightest offense. No one is interested in perspectives that are different than their own. There is frustration, name calling and bias that overrides any attempt at communication, respect and collaboration. It is enough to make us all jaded to the degree of the famously quoted, “There is but death and taxes.” Certainly, there is not the ability to socially figure out this problem and find reasonable solutions or is there?


Where I think it hurts the most in our society is how our children are seeing this as an example for how they should live in the future. When things get hard it is easier to rage out at someone else, passing blame and bullying them into your way of thinking through mandates and laws that serve an agenda rather than the people. The labor of pulling together to collaborate and look at multiple perspectives falls on deaf ears. The rise of bullying and paying for it financially alive and well. Perhaps there is only death and taxes.


When we are in fear we don’t think clearly. Our hearts race faster as we move in a fight or flee state. We are desperate and seeking whatever looks like the quickest way out of the darkness. Our calm rationale is simmered under the pressure of fear because it is uncomfortable and as humans we despise uncomfortable. Long ago in the past are the resilient people who didn’t have the comforts of air conditioning, internet and streaming entertainment. They had time to figure things out. We don’t. The thinking of a need it now society with everything at our fingertips has left us blind to the reality of how to solve complex problems.


I believe people before us also had fear but they had unity of knowing we had each other to count on when it really mattered. We also had the freedom to do what we thought best. Today those ideals are bullied, shamed and ostracized for being non-conforming. It is what divides us rather than unifies us in the time of needs. There is too much and yet too little information out there guiding us to our true North or at least greatly clouding the way.


I think it comes down to decency in what we believe is right and wrong. Behind the fear and rage of anger is our own values in what that looks like. We can blame the everyone gets a trophy thinking, our parents, the government and more but it ultimately still comes down to each of us. What we choose to do with ugliness in the world that has led us to this point. We can live as if there is only death and taxes or we can create beauty. We can live in fear of the latest variation of an illness or we can rebuild our relationships and live contently. It doesn’t mean fear still won’t be in our life but it won’t be the driver anymore.


The audacity to live well and by our own making is a challenge many of us will immediately look at and think we can’t do it. That is simply too hard and we’re not up for it. This is where fear once again threatens us, by holding us back. We want the rewards for the work now, paid forward to us. The rest will fall in place and live should not be that hard anyway, right? Quick, easy and without the sweat of our brow. We are too busy for anything less and lack the patience to thoughtfully think about it more deeply. For those that don’t agree with us they are simply ignorant and not as advanced as we. We should tax them for their ignorance.


Looking objectively at it all makes me realize how detached we are from nature. We have lost our ability to connect at a most primal level and flow through complex winters and transitions of seasons peacefully. Instead we are impatient and restless rushing through the seasons to suit our purposes. What are we really in a hurry for though? There is really just death and taxes right?


If you are open to learning about how to live more naturally, please reach out to me at dragonspitapothecary.com

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