This first month of the New Year has passed in a flash. Little did I know when I lightheartedly wrote my January 6 blog titled Pre-funeral Luncheon, that I would come face to face with the death of my sweet boy, Yellow Lab Ben, less than two weeks later. How quickly death can show us what is truly important in life. They are inextricably linked. I closed the month of January with taxes on my mind and Benjamin Franklin’s quote: “…in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
I’ve gone through a lot of Kleenex with Ben’s passing, and now as I start the dreaded task of getting my tax information together, I have opened a bottle of Tums for the first time in a long time. Every year I tell myself I need to better organized the information I will need at tax time. I do have a bunch of manila envelopes in which I attempt to keep the many pieces of information I will need at year’s end, but it still looms as an overwhelming task. What if I kept a monthly ledger of all the information? Balancing my checkbook each month is something I do faithfully; for besides promoting good money sense, it clearly shows me how many different ways I can be wrong. I don’t think I’d need Tums to summarize year-end tax information if I kept a monthly account of all those numbers. What if I could make that happen for next year’s tax time?
Just as life and death are joined, so too are death and taxes. When going over last year’s paper trail I saw a mini life review in my work, doctor and volunteer miles driven, household expenses, charitable contributions, purchases made, presentations I attended or gave, books sold (by county) and current inventory, postage, supplies, and the training I needed. People nearing the death experience often do a life review. What’s important becomes clear, the ego diminishes, and the goal becomes unity as we prepare to return to our Original Nature from which we came. So too there is grace in taxes. The goal is unity for the common good. (Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of unity among the thirteen colonies.) To support the common good gracefully we willingly need to let go of some ego.
What if we could all come to embrace the grace in taxes?