Death, Taxes, and the Eclipse

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

April 20, 2023

Have you filed your taxes yet? If not, I hope you filed for an extension because earlier this week was Tax Day! And I couldn’t help thinking of Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” And while I understand the point Mr. Franklin was trying to make, there are a couple of other certainties I’d like to explore. If we are alive and existing on the planet Earth, we can also be sure we are orbiting around the sun and our moon is orbiting around us. And we can be sure, at some specific times in our existence, the sun and the moon will cross each other and cause what we call an eclipse.

Hybrid Solar Eclipse

While geographically I wasn’t able to see the majestic solar eclipse that happened early this morning, our friends in Australia were! And it was a magical sight. And while viewing the eclipse, even on YouTube, I could sense the overall eerie feeling. Historically, humans have thought of eclipses as bad omens, or things to fear. But with the advancement of scientific knowledge, they’ve become more exciting. We know when these events will occur. And we are able to perceive them in a light different from the fear of our ancestors. Perception is such an interesting idea to explore. We all see the world from a slightly different lens. And if we’re open to the possibilities of learning more, seeking truth, and letting go of our expected outcomes, we can navigate life more peacefully. Life is going to happen around us and many of the external forces are outside of our control. Once we can accept those truths and simply remain curious, we’ll experience a much more fruitful existence.
As Lao-Tzu said, “By letting go it all gets done.”


While at times we’re all guilty of rigid thinking, it’s important to recognize those moments and be curious as opposed to fearful. We can never be fully in control of the environment around us. Our taxes may be reviewed or audited. We may survive an incurable cancer. And we may lose sight of the sun at midday. We don’t have control over any of those events. We only have control of our ability to perceive them.