As tax season is officially over, I can now announce how happy I am that I have paid my taxes.
No, I’m not actually kidding.
I like to pay my taxes. It’s very simple really, in the past few weeks or so I have been strongly reminded of some things I like. A Lot. They include:
- Roads that don’t collapse or wear out my tires excessively (or make me car sick)
- Police who are quick to check on your house when the alarm goes off because your husband accidentally turned it on. And polite and thorough to make sure you are you say you are and that you really ARE safe.
- I know I might be alone in this – but the cops who write stupidly expensive tickets for stupid entitled drivers
- Hospitals which are not allowed to turn away patients – so even the poorest of people can receive life-saving aide (and I don’t want to imagine the doctor who would willingly turn away a patient)
- Firemen who respond to prevent people from burning down entire neighborhoods
- Libraries which have lots of awesome books and can afford to curate across genres and ages because they can afford a variety of librarians who work to provide for me
- Electricity which is restored quickly after major storms knock it out
- Programs which help families feed themselves and their children
- Schools which prevent the people around me from being stupid (I kind of like living around people who are smart)
Atlanta is experiencing an infrastructure crisis, and it’s from years/decades of people whining about “how much” they pay in taxes. Well, maybe I’m naive – but I think the return on investment for my tax dollars is actually fairly amazing. It’s like we have some kind of collective bargaining or co-op sort of thing so each of us pays a little bit and we do huge things together!
I could support politicians who say “Hey, do you know if we charged PENNIES on everything except food we could have the best transit system in the country – public transit so you don’t have to bear high blood pressure of traffic.” I can support the politician who says “We struggle to get young people to be teachers because they can make a better wage doing a helluva lot less work as a secretary – fewer hours, more authority AND more money – maybe we should increase property taxes by 1% and give all that to teachers wages.”
I am tired of being promised “more with less” because in my experience it’s a lie. I am tired of being lied to and tired of seeing people believe the lies. I want my tax dollars used wisely. I want them used to benefit my community. When they benefit the poorest, I benefit. When they benefit the dumbest, I know I benefit. When they benefit me – I am grateful that everyone else paid their taxes.
Today is Easter. A notable Christian holiday. The important Christian holiday. I will hear a lot of “Hallelujah” and “blessings” today – both digitally on Facebook and from live people.
I don’t talk a lot about my faith. It is highly personal to me. I also have studied history – and I love church history. But it also breaks my heart.
The Church (when I capitalize like this, I mean the “organized, hierarchical groups” – NOT the church which is the “body of Christ”) has done a lot of harm over the centuries. That harm is still being committed today. People don’t like to think they are doing wrong, but that is exactly what we are supposed to do.
I am fortunate that I am able to attend a Seder every year. The Haggadah is the story of the Exodus and a reminder to the Hebrew heritage (and Jewish faith) that they suffered in Egypt. This reminder is also a call (at least at the Seder I get to attend) to remember the orphans, remember the hungry & oppressed in every form.
It is powerful to me that this could be some of the language which Jesus himself used at his last Passover. I’ve been told that christian communion is an “abbreviated” Passover – but I think churches that never follow-up with a full-length Passover lose something in the translation. Like any abridgment, the nuances of the message get lost. And over time they have been forgotten.
How can we say we offer “each other” blessings in the faith of Christianity if we only bless those whom it’s easy to like and love? How can we offer blessings only to those who are already blessed with heath, wealth, & freedom?
Today especially, I feel a call to cast a blessing on those seeking refuge in my country – my safe and beautiful country. As the children were brought out of Europe in the 1930s, how could I do less for the children of Syria? I have called my US representatives before on this matter, but I think I will begin doing so more – keep up the conversation because I believe, that I can wish blessings on those who just look like me – I must seek blessings for those who need it the most.
Last spring I ran away with the man I’m in love with and got married.
God that is still a lot of a fun to say. This year, I took the week of our anniversary as vacation. It was very good, especially because I can’t remember the last time I took a full week of just vacation. Not moving or packing or because I was sick….
It was kind of glorious. And spending about $200 on books was pretty awesome too. My list of books getting recovered from the storage-unit-mold-disaster is slowly coming around. The books that are left were always going to be the hardest ones to find: out of print or role-playing books (which even if not “hard to find” are “damn expensive”)
He also took my calligraphy exam paper from my semester in Japan to get it framed in a gorgeous black-bamboo frame. He managed to filch it during our move last fall and I just haven’t known where it is for the past four months or so (we still have a lot of boxes). Sneaky man. Fortunately, year 2 will be the “cotton” anniversary and I already have an idea of what I can get for him next year (or make if I can be sneaky enough).
I was in a training session today previewing an upcoming event for a few people. We get to a roleplaying section and one of the people absolutely made my day:
“You need to be a writer!”
“Well, I want to be a novelist.”
“No, you need to quit this job and go be a writer!”
I laugh – especially because my boss is sitting next to her with a rather shocked face. I grin at them both and replied, “Writing is hard to make money, and I like eating too much to be a starving artist.”
Still. The fact that someone found a 3 paragraph roleplaying script funny enough to tell me to quit in front of my manager – really made my day. It was quite the affirmation that I must have some kind of talent.