Death and taxes. Each certain. Both inevitable.
A Thursday evening, and I was walking through a local cemetery, looking for burial plots, pricing the garden and fountain area, the grave marker, the vault, and then on the following evening, being Friday, preparing my yearly taxes with a tax professional.
It was by chance that they would fall on successive evenings and in that order, death and then taxes.
What an interesting phrase, attributed to Ben Franklin, who in 1789 wrote these words in a letter to Jean Baptiste-Leroy, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Permanency. Not a word we use often.
And yet Ben Franklin used permanency as a description of this new nation.
Truly in life nothing is permanent, not really.
Everything slowly passes away.
Anything that is, eventually evolves, into what was, now becomes what will be.
But for certain?
It is certain we will one day pass away.
And it is certain that until that day we will pay our share of taxes.
But until that day, how do we spend uncertain moments, hours, days, weeks, months and years?
Is it possible that Ben Franklin may have at least pondered, it is also certain we each will either live out a life that is filled with meaning, or, one that is not.
If in fact, that is certain, then let’s live out a life that has meaning, not only for us, but also for those we certainly come in contact with throughout each often uncertain day.