Without a doubt, we all have been told repeatedly "death and taxes" might be the only two certain things in life.
But to spark up the quote, why not add the little anecdote that will add spice to life by saying "But at least death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." There has to be some humor in life, or how could we maintain our sanity in the actions of today's world, where every day brings astounding revelations in all aspects of life, and not always to our personal liking.
So, what sparked my choice of subject matter for this little tidbit?
Well, several things take precedence over the choice. First of all, the calendar. It's the third month of the year already. In spite of flying snow flurries of late, it is still the month spring begins. We just celebrated the unblissful event of "spring ahead," when we turn our clocks to agree with some maniacal choice of fooling around with Father Time so maybe someone can spend more time on the golf course. I don't know how this came about. Do you? It didn't used to be this way.
Better yet, watch your mailbox and look for the 1099s coming in. April 15 is just around the corner -- tax time. Remember the quote above. Washington has been at it again. We have to dig deeper in our pockets to keep the players on the field.
Life is hard enough. "Going it alone" makes it even more difficult than it has to be at times. We need other people in our lives to console, encourage and challenge us. Our pain is most definitely cut in half when we share it, and our joys are doubled. Even everyone paying their fair share of taxes is a part of it all, rich or poor.
Reflecting back in time, I recall an incident involving my father. Being a teenager at the time, and probably not nearly as concerned with tax problems as I am at this point in my life, I was given an opportunity to observe two fine gentlemen discussing a subject I never have forgotten. It must have been about this time of the year, as they were discussing paying taxes, and it appeared my father's friend was not a happy camper after visiting with his tax accountant. He was a farmer. A hard working, private sort of person, normally keeping a low profile, but in this particular instance, he was heard to say, "Why do I have to pay taxes for all those other people; I don't owe them anything."
The ranting continued, and finally my father was heard to reply, "You have been blessed to have the money; you can afford to pay them. Just think about it, you get lots of things in return for paying your taxes. Think about the time you had to call the sheriff when someone stole your bull. You drive on nice blacktop roads. You bring your kids to town to go to school. You go to the hospital when you are sick. Somebody has to pay for all of those things. We all have to pay, and if each and every one of us would pay our share, it would be easier for all of us rather than standing there waiting for someone to pay for everything."
I hardly realized what was happening that day, but my father was giving me my first lesson in one of the most important parts of my life to follow. Looking back, my father was blessed with little in life, but he was willing to share, for he was wise to realize what it takes to make life as it should be, and taxes were one part of life. Being humans, we want what we want, when we want it, and we often fail to give little thought as to where funds come from to make this all possible.
Admittedly, I am not as well-versed on the subject of death as I should be, but again, the calendar boldly displays Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, also known as Holy Week. Glorious Easter services are reminders of what our savior did for us.
We are told repeatedly we begin to die the minute we are born. All the marvels of geriatric medicine cannot forestall the effects of time. As sensitivity grows dull, the legs and arms become less steady, teeth decay, the eyes require stronger and stronger lense replacements -- we all know what is happening.
At what age do these events occur? Well, as we all know, it varies on an individual basis, but the book of Colossians offers the best advice for us all. It says, "Devote yourselves to prayer; be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you might know how to answer everyone." And, I might add, "go with the flow."
The choice remains ours. But as you give thought to all these things that are a part of each of our lives, we might find it mindful to keep this one thought in mind -- the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man. There most definitely is a time for everything.
Have a blessed Easter.
Nadene Albrecht, Russell, is a retired real estate broker.