The Greatest Tax We Pay

The way this world of ours works, we pay a price when fellow citizens are unwell. The smoker, the drinker, the sufferer of cancer or heart disease — when we’re taxed, we pay our share of their health bill.

Stress weaves an invisible needle through our daily lives, puncturing much and sewing great dramas. Property prices rise, interest rates come and go, coffee becomes dear and groceries seem expensive.


So off we go to work, to pay for it all.

At work, many feel surrounded by demanding people, unreasonable people. It is hard to escape them. If these people drive the ship, we’re tugged along, lagging behind in the wake like some hopeless afterthought, bobbing our heads just to catch our breath.

Only to come home and question what is happening on the news, and question the people running the country — time and time again, they look like they’re catering for themselves first, the nation second.


But do we ever ask ourselves — what’s the greatest tax we pay?

What makes the drinks so expensive, what makes the demand for caffeine soar? What propels the price of property up and up?

What drives the people who drive the ships? What do they see on the horizon, that makes their eyes light up? Are they sailing into shadows cast by the light behind them — the light of the past?

What makes the smoker smoke, or the drinker drink?

What really blocks arteries?

Many cancers come from stress — but what creates stress?

And we have a narrative for it — a story that seems intact. We have economic terms like supply and demand. We have phrases like ‘the stresses of living.’

But where we have put walls to mark the ends of understanding, let us carve out doors.

Let us open those doors, and go a layer deeper.

Let us trace the roots of demand and desire, till we find their seeds, of which there are many.

But is one of those seeds insecurity?

And is insecurity sewn by fear?

Fear of what? Of who? Of which?

Perhaps fear of it all, and fear of fear itself.

Perhaps this is the greatest tax we pay, lumped into every bill, hidden on every invoice, priced into every purchase.

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