Friday, July 20, 2007

Grace tax


My brother John, who recently started blogging, posted this gem about a "John Wright" tax. John does a lot of things right in the world, but he does manage to bang up his cars on a regular basis. Rather than getting worked up about it, he's decided to just accept that about himself and set aside some money every year to fix them up.

This is a form of grace, and I've been thinking about how it applies to others as well.

What if we just assumed that everyone does or says dumb things on a regular basis. Rather than getting upset about it, just figure that that person will always require an extra some percentage of our time, money, attention, etc...., and we just plan ahead of time on giving it to them.

The idea of a tax works well here. I got my biweekly paycheck last week, and, as usual, Uncle Sam, insurance companies, and the rest take about one-third of it. I'm so used to it that I don't even notice it anymore; in fact, I can't even tell you what my biweekly gross income is (but I know, and sadly spend, the net down to the dollar).

Here's an example. Somebody that I know very well is married to a wonderful women (who, by the way, doesn't read this blog...). She does many more things right that does the husband, but she has her quirks. For example, if she sweeps the floor, there's a good chance she'll end up leaving a pile of dirt in the corner rather than using a dustpan. Rather than getting upset about this, her husband can just count it as a small tax for the privledge of being married to her. That means, just finishing the job for her without thinking about it.

Not only do we not expect people to be perfect, we plan ahead of time to allow for it.

What do you think? Is there any moral value in this idea?

(I write as someone who needs and gets *tons* of grace)

7 comments:

Casey Ross said...

I think there is. Because of a strange incident a few years ago when I had to drive like a maniac, I started giving people grace when they drive like a maniac. On that day that I drove like a NASCAR driver, I knew no one else knew why I was forced to drive that way. I had no choice, but I'm sure I deserved some one finger salutes. Since then, I am much more patient with other drivers. I don't know why they are driving like an idiot. No more road rage. Just more grace. You know what? I'm much better off since showing grace to others.

Knumb said...

That's a very good idea.

Never occurred to me, or even came close.

It's a lot easier when you can see the upside, or think of the upside, first, which I often don't do.

/off to get dustpan.

Brad Wright said...

Casey, same thing happened to me once. I was following an ambulance with my son in it, and I ran all the redlights (after making sure it was safe), and boy did people get mad!

John, dust-pan grace?

Scott Kemp said...

Jesus said "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" Matthew 5:7

And the whole "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." is a recurring theme in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount.

Knumb said...

The dustpan is not the graceful part... gotta name the tax after the high side.

Wonderful Wife Tax.

S.S.Stone said...

Yes, this is such a great idea!
the Wright brothers could work for the government with their tax reform bill. *smile*--you could change the country with this new law!

Brad Wright said...

Scott, a good reminder about love and mercy. My problem is that I am much quicker with the theory than the practice.

Sarah, I don't know about a tax reform act, but this kind of tax might do better than lots of others!