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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.