Here’s a question from one of our UnYucky workshops: do you enjoy paying tax?
Income tax, council rates, company tax, sales tax (GST, VAT etc) – does it give you pleasure to pay them?
I’m guessing your answer is no – it is for every other person I’ve asked.
Next question, then: do you think it’s necessary to pay tax?
You can probably think of lots of reasons why we need taxes for both personal and public reasons. The reasons some people have given for paying taxes – at least in Australia – are they make it possible to have: roads, hospitals, Medicare, footpaths, clean beaches, public parks, school buses, aged care, kindy, train lines, jails, police, nurses, teachers, border security, garbage trucks, recycling services, farmers’ subsidies, flood and fire restoration, public housing, ambulances, and the list goes on.
So: now you’ve been reminded about how important taxes are, do you feel even a little bit better about paying tax?
You probably feel a bit better – maybe not much – when you connect the pain of paying tax with the benefit of receiving public services and infrastructure.
BUT after all that, let’s return to my first question:
Do you actually ENJOY paying tax?
You’ll be strange and wonderful person if you can honestly answer yes to that one.
Even when we KNOW how important tax is, and how it gives us roads, and hospitals, and places for elderly people to live, and garbage collections, and water out of the tap…
Even when we know ALL those things, we still aren’t enjoying paying it.
In fact, many of us look at ways to reduce the tax we pay, by keeping receipts for tax refunds or offsetting business expenses against company income, or a whole range of other things I won’t write about or endorse!
Would it change our view if we were reminded more often? Would we suddenly say
Hey hey! Gimme that tax! I want to pay more of it! I love it so much now I remember how important it is! Thank you for reminding me every night at dinner how much I need to pay tax!
Hang on. That’s not tax, that’s VEGETABLES.
UnYucky ran a survey recently that got 500 responses to a question about how you’d help a child if you were worried they didn’t eat enough vegetables.
47% of people said they would talk to the child about how important vegetables are.
Yes. Because we all just proved how much our attitudes changed to something we don’t like doing when we were reminded how worthwhile it was!
And it’s true. Veggies are AWESOME and they are a great way to get micronutrients – those things we can’t store for long – into our bodies.
And it’s great to be honest with our kids too, isn’t it? Mine have asked me why we have to pay tax, for instance, and I always tell them the truth.
But here’s what I think is the reality: once we are adults, we aren’t ever going to enjoy paying taxes, and when we are kids, it’s not reasonable to expect us to enjoy eating all our vegetables.
So what is reasonable?
- Serve them up as freshly as you can and enjoy eating them yourself.
- Remember it’s normal to like some veges more than others – for both adults and children
- Involve children in the growing, picking and cooking of veg as much as you can – can’t grow them at home? Let your children choose the veges at the supermarket.
- Serve small quantities – look at your child’s fist as a guide to the size of their stomach, and serve a total portion that is a bit less than that.
- Have a compost bin, an overweight dog, or a couple of chooks who can benefit from the scraps, or save untouched veg for your work lunch, for omelettes, and for making stock or soup. This stops you from getting cranky about waste.