March 27, 2020

Learn It, Live It, Love It: The Personal Responsibility Edition

By: Cindy Cerquitella

I’ve been practicing social distancing for 17 days now, but have limited my movements even more strictly this week. It’s looking like DC’s businesses will be closed for at least another month, and it’s surreal to see the city close its doors. In the last three weeks, borders have been closed, businesses shuttered, “shelter in place” orders put in place, over 81,000 people have gotten ill, 3.3 million people have filed for unemployment, and a $2.2 trillion stimulus package was just passed today. 

It’s an understatement to say these are unprecedented times, and for the majority of us, this is the most significant event that has happened in our lifetime. This experience will stay with us, and though we are physically distant from each other, this globally shared experience could serve to bring us together as humans in new ways. It is difficult times like these when we have the opportunity to prove our mettle. We have the responsibility to rise up and help, we have the freedom to test our principles and ensure they are strong, and we have the liberty to hold our leaders accountable for making the right decisions when we are forced to depend on them more than ever. 

In this week’s Learn it, Live it, Love it, I’ll share suggestions for how to spend your time during this extended quarantine period. I’d love to hear what you are all up to! Let us know over at @affnetwork on Instagram and we’ll repost you. 

Learn it:
If you’re like me, you’re conflicted about the government’s role during this time. Give this great discussion between Jonah Goldberg and Kevin Williamson a listen to help inform your thinking. 

If you’re hungry for more facts and figures to back up your opinions, Five Thirty-Eight has got your back. 

Conscious Capitalism has moved their annual conference online, and they are making it available to everyone, every day next week at noon. Their events offer helpful business, ethical, and professional advice, and I encourage you to check them out! 

AF is also taking our events online, check out what’s coming up next week: 

-If you’re curious about making financial decisions right now, AFF-Raleigh is offering a live session featuring The Heritage Foundation’s Joel Griffith. He’ll discuss interest rates, the stock market, and saving best practices on Monday, March 30. 

-On Thursday, April 2, join AF-HQ as we explore the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis- The Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia, Illinois Policy Institute’s Orphe Divougney, and Argo Strategy’s Chloe Anagnos will be discussing the job market, the stimulus package, and the impact on small business. 

Live it:
It has been truly encouraging to see the many ways neighbors have stood up to help each other through this challenging time. If you are in a comfortable position, I encourage you to look for ways you can help those that are currently struggling. 

If you’re in the DC area, here are two great lists with opportunities to lend a hand in ways that range from grocery picks ups to hospital deliveries: For Helpers and Resources

These Community Foundations are raising funds to support their cities.  And Give Together Now is also raising funds. 

If you find yourself in search of a new job, and you’re unsure where to look, Anastasia Uglova outlines key sectors that are hiring right now. It’s a great list. 

Now, what are you doing with all those nights, weekends and shortened commutes? My list of books to read is ever-growing, and here is what I’m hoping to dive into over the next few weeks:

Designing Your Life, Bill Barnett & Dave Evans (AFF’s staff book club selection) 

Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs 

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

A Paradise Built in Hell, The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, Rebecca Solnit  (You can preview this one here)

I don’t want to fool you though, it’s not all high-minded pursuits in this apartment. I’m also loving Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and planning to bake this once my bread supply runs out, and if you’re looking for something to drink, might I a recommend a classic daiquiri (2 oz white rum, 1 oz FRESH lime juice, ½ oz simple syrup)? 

Love it:
Father Sirico of the Acton Institute provided a wonderful message and commentary on the current situation. I hope you’ll enjoy it! 

Sofar Sounds has a mission to support musicians. In normal times, they did that through intimate secret concerts in cities around the world. That’s no longer an option, so they’ve pivoted to holding online listening sessions live. I love seeing creative ways people work to achieve their goals, no matter what stands in the way.