Some simply do all awkward things to get things done. Whether it means going beyond the expectation of common sense or basic decency, they simply do it. Others will even commit a crime of some kind, criminal or social. Despite all this, the most important thing is getting things done, your way, not their way.
If you are religious enough, no matter your orientation, confession of sins is paramount to attain salvation. With it, come humility, humbleness and the realisation that there is only one way out. That is why I like to see the many prophets around, fake, genuine and well dressed cast out demons from those possessed with them.
The possessed are an interesting bunch of people and have one thing in common. Usually it is an issue they want resolved. It could be genuine salvation or a number of things. Take for example miracle money, miracle water and so many breakthroughs.
Quite interesting if I recall how powerful men or women have humbled themselves in history to get things right. Right in the sense of their own benefit. It is synonymous with the capitalist mind though. It is in our nature, of course.
So, we had this man in the biblical times. Short and powerful tax collector. Tax collectors were frowned upon and considered the epitome of evil. Zaccheus as he was known took upon himself to climb a tree. He had an issue. For all the politeness and my scare of blasphemy, I would say he was height challenged.
To deal with his height challenge, he quickly thought of a solution, temporary though. I believe at his age, unknown to me, the biological factors leading to growth had reached their pinnacle. After all, during the Roman Empire to reach the accolade of a notorious tax collector entailed bearing witness to many moons. A feat only for those that had been around for a while.
Ideally, we had two things to learn from the tax collector’s episode. First, it was how creative he was to climb a tree and have a glimpse at Jesus. It worked and Jesus saw the motivation in Zaccheus. He worked for it. The second lesson in humility. Jesus went all the way to the home of hated man deemed sinful and fearsome. Simply ask those that ever paid the notorious K3.50 tax in those days. The mere sighting of those Land Rovers and their ugly khaki uniform sent shivers down the spine.
How motivated have we become to get things done? I play no preacher, but need be, why not? Others show their motivation by citing a rainmaker’s prayer to avoid a crisis of some kind. To the unknown, they marvel at the beauty of creation. Instead of worrying about the mechanics of the atmosphere and the crazy science of climate, they simply go for a swim in huge bodies of water, reservoirs of millions years of rainfall. All freely given.
Similarly, I just marvel at the proactive action by our modern day “Roman Empire”. While it may show signs of crumbling, its version of Zaccheus has become so innovative to hit on the tax cheats. The noose has become somehow tight and with a few court battles and convictions, a realisation of change in how we do business has sunk in, albeit slow and painful.
But what is this for? There remain many people that still view the tax collector as a part of any axis with links to the devil. While it is rational human behaviour to hate anything that chews our income, a realisation of abuse keeps that taxpayer away. It militates against the innovative acts that our collectors are trying to put in place.
As we start the second half of the fiscal year, it looks quite interesting to see how creative we have become to mobilise domestic revenues. That is what people are paid for and must show for it. However, it is also important to realise that it has huge costs. It can still grow and increase tax avoidance if there is a perception of abuse and the fact that others are entitled to fraudulently abuse the public funds.
While our colleagues at tax collecting agencies are really finding innovating ways, what is the end result? Maybe Zaccheus in the biblical days was deemed evil simply because the purse keepers misused funds. I have no proof, but there are interesting contrasts. n