Seasons come and seasons go

Published 9:45 pm Friday, March 2, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Seasons come and seasons go. Not long ago, the world celebrated the arrival of the new year. Shortly thereafter, Suffolk was blanketed with the chilly, winter snow. While the snowflakes melted away, we welcomed February with its numerous observances of days to remember. It is now March, and this month brings the season we most often equate to new life, blossoming, growth, birth, resurrection, development and rain. We have not reached the first day of spring on our calendars, yet the emerging buds on crepe myrtle trees and daffodils standing tall in our flower beds are sure indication that spring is here.

You know another season that is here? Tax season is in full swing. I know you do not like to talk about it. Nevertheless, we have been hearing a great deal about tax reform, tax planning and tax preparation in recent weeks.

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For four years, I studied and served as a tax preparer. I learned a great deal about tax law. I learned even more about taxpayers and the American class system. The class system is another topic we do not talk about often, unless you like debates. If spring is the season synonymous with development, then tax season is synonymous with division. We could take a few clues from the nature developing around us when it comes to tax season.

Tax preparation taught me that many taxpayers are disillusioned. Several times, clients sat across from me waiting only to hear that they would be receiving a large refund. The teacher in me desired to develop the client’s understanding of means and providence. I soon discovered I was in the wrong business for that. No one wants to hear a message of encouragement when they have spent their last on Christmas presents in December and they are now facing loan charges and credit card debt in February. They just wanted a check, or they did not want to hear that they owed anything. The clients that owed taxes were the longer returns to prepare, but they were the ones who taught me the most about prudence.

I learned from this short period in tax preparation that the blessed ones are those who know that they have something to give back. Wealth has been so perverted in this idea of social class. Wealth should not be based on a class system. Wealth is the fruit of a development system. Everyone has seeds. Sure, some seeds never get the chance to mature and ripen due to various circumstances. When I think about the Jewish Holocaust, I think of how many seeds existed in the six million Jews that died. Adolf Hitler robbed this earth of a great amount of wealth.

As U.S. residents, we complain about our leadership. Consider this, does your government impede your ability to earn wealth? There are countries who can answer yes. We are not one of them. The U.S. does not revoke education from one gender of its citizens. Education leads to wealth. The U.S. does not change currency whenever it wants to take from its citizens. Currency is a symbol of wealth. The U.S. does not control your ability to obtain wealth.

Wealth is the fruit of wisdom. Wisdom is the fruit of knowledge and understanding applied to your life, your decisions and your perspective developed over time. Tax season should be a development season, because we should use these income tax statements to challenge us to properly cultivate the seeds in our lives so that we have the produce to share or sell (if that is your choice). It is the season for growth.

This year, rather than looking for a check from the government, check yourself.

Ask yourself who is keeping you from obtaining wealth and then confront that person (you may need a mirror for this one).

What seeds in you have you neglected and failed to cultivate?

Set goals to develop your seeds and act on the objectives that you set to accomplish your goals. Do not forget that it is not in your own power to increase. Even the seeds in the ground that you water and fertilize consistently will not grow without God providing the sun.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.