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How Taxes Can Bring Gratitude 💵

3things gratitude jordan myska allen money personal growth reframe relatefulness stayinlove taxes Apr 06, 2023


In the USA, April 15 is the tax-day deadline. We’re in the season. A while back I used to dread taxes, parroting the understandable complaint that the government was “taking all of my hard-earned money to fund foreign wars". But anytime my well-being is determined by something outside of me, I know I’m projecting and have work to do to get to a more honest relationship with reality.

The result is that I can now appreciate paying taxes. It’s not just that there’s so much to love about America, despite our multitude of flaws. Nor even that for the quality of life we’re getting, taxes are a great deal. It’s that my old view requires me to reify a much smaller self than I now know myself to be. I am the society that receives all of the benefit, and my little self gets so much from the whole being better off. I am utterly interdependent with the entire universe and all of its history, nearly all which is out of my control. From oxygen to another asteroid-free day, from the value of the dollar to legal rights, the impact of what “I earned” feels tiny in comparison to the gifts of grace. Coming into an attitude of alignment with things I can't control is something I can control, and it makes the whole better off. Whether or not you're bothered by taxes, this is an invitation to see places you're forgetting that you can choose a different attitude, even when you can't change the circumstances.

I still feel tempted into seeing myself as a victim of an oppressive, corrupt and bloated government doing nothing to stop our civilizational doom, or take care of our homeless, or the environment, or so much more. There’s plenty of evidence to shore up this view, but its bias demands that I ignore so much contradictory data. We’re complex, good and bad. My gratitude seems to allow me to be more honest about both, more peaceful with what is, and more capable of moving towards a better future.


With love, Jordan


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