Serenity and the Courage to Change

March 26, 2020 – Mike McCann



Last week I wrote about some of my experiences working in government finance during the Great Recession over 12 years ago. I concluded with these elegant words from one of my all-time favorite pieces of writing, the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

This article drew many readers and much positive feedback, for which I am most grateful. More importantly, it confirmed my suspicion that we all need connection, sharing and solutions as we try to make sense of this jumble of coronavirus pandemic, Wall Street crash, economic slowdown, and general chaos. We know that a multitude of negative impacts are coming, but we don’t yet have any real sense of how this is going to hit our families, communities and governments.

To help address the uber-isolation of this new working-at-home, stay-at-home lifestyle, I am starting a daily series of posts dedicated to everyone working in or supporting our local communities and governments through these dark days while preparing for a more hopeful future.

We will focus on topics related to both the virus and its economic impacts, including what governments can execute in the short-term and think about for the next few months. I will share my own experiences and opinions from the Great Recession and recovery, but this whole project will be much more valuable if I can act as a force-multiplier for the community at large.

PLEASE send me your thoughts, ideas, notions, and blockers. Let's learn together. I am happy to give you credit or promote ideas anonymously, as you prefer. I would love to write up, research, comment, and publish your insights and plans on what is working and what isn’t.

Let me start off today with a question: After doing what you can about addressing the virus itself, and providing immediate public safety services, what is your third priority right now? How do you rank issues like conserving cash, reducing expenditures immediately, planning for a long slow down, new service demands, etc.?

Please send me your raw thoughts, and don’t worry about polish, backstory or qualifications. Let’s keep it real, casual and quick. Stay well, safe, sane, and watch for what we can learn together.

Mike McCann
mmccann@opengov.com