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Taxes

With sorrow…

When I was a young teen I went on a week-long survival survival trip with a very famous guy (he had been in charge of making the film Jeremiah Johnson true to life in terms of survival in the woods).

We couldn’t take any food–we had to live off the land for that week. One day the six of us managed to kill a chipmunk with one of our improvised traps, and after roasting it over the fire, joyously sat down to eat it.

Larry (the guy in charge) stopped us, and explained that we were very sorry that the chipmunk had to die, but that we were grateful that the chipmunk’s death allowed US not to starve. We weren’t killing the chipmunk out of bloodthirstiness, and we were grateful to eat.

There was as much sorrow as joy.

The same goes for taxes. We are indeed sorry to take that money–it is sacred. And we can by no means waste it and remain moral. We take it carefully and reluctantly and we are wise with the charge we have been given. We don’t take it out of greed, but out of bona fide need, and in sorrow.

Now I agree that sometimes you gotta kill the chipmunk. But with a pang of sadness. Not out of greed or bloodthirstiness. Not in the spirit of Cain.

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