April 15th. The Day of Reckoning. This is the day, in the United States, that government taxes are due on the last calendar year’s earnings. Of course, the real Day of Reckoning is Tax Freedom Day, the day when everything you earn is actually yours. Up until that day, everything you earn has actually been given (taken?) to the IRS. This year, that date is April 18th. Three days after your taxes are due. There now, doesn’t that make you feel better?!?
In most ways taxes are good, sorta. They pave roads and build hospitals; they organize our national defense system (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, the Avengers). They pass judgment on what is good and right for our society and what is not good or wrong. They provide an infrastructure so our various peoples can get on with the business of their own individual, professional and family lives. And because of our belief in the basic nature of people, our government has even built in its own system of checks & balances with its Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branches, to restrain the spread of evil. Ergo…, we pay taxes.
This “Day of Reckoning” concept has been around since the dawn of time. The idea is that one day we will all have to give an account of what we have done with our time during our life-span on this earth. A societal reflection of this is seen in our laws; which are, supposedly, encoded with a higher moral code. In our present day there is little agreement on the source or nature of this “higher” moral encoding. But there remains a wide-spread corporate sense that one day, we will be held accountable for our actions, even by those who are not-sure of an afterlife or of a deity. Odd.
Personally, I prefer to err on the intentionality side- living my life as if there actually were an afterlife and deity. Not that I am looking forward to any kind of reward for the life I have led; but I would sure like to avoid, at all costs, any kind of retribution for my actions.
I am under no illusion that I will simply run out my days on earth and that is that. Nothing more. That would be a serious, and erroneous, presupposition. Nonetheless, neither do I presume that I am somehow special and will be rewarded for my good life. That is up to God! Rather, I choose to prepare for this Day of Reckoning through a simple, action oriented maxim-
Honor God, honor people…, make a difference.
Through this simple threefold imperative, I hope that I will bequeath to this world, my society, and my family, a better place to live.
For now, I’ve got to focus my attention on getting in my taxes and staying out of jail.
Have a nice week,