I’ve written a fair amount over the past few weeks about all of the specific provisions in the CARES Act, related to economic stimulus checks, various tax savings strategies, financial implications, and then some.
And I will continue to be covering these topics in the weeks ahead.
But today I want to address you around this particular social moment we’re in right now.
Yes, I’m a local Staten Island tax professional — I’m not a counselor, religious leader or a psychiatrist, obviously — but in the course of the last couple months, I have had the privilege to speak with MANY people about their finances, their mindset, and how they are responding to all of this.
Because you can pick your problem — there are PLENTY all around us.
We have Staten Island clients all over the map on just about every issue — from virus measures, to civil liberties, to economic concerns, to re-opening, to medical concerns, to … you name it.
And almost NOBODY is satisfied about, well, anything.
I’m reminded of the old curse: May you live in interesting times.
(And do you want to know something fittingly ironic? The source of that curse is supposedly China … but even THAT is unclear. Yes, these times are “interesting”.)
What we are really seeing is a breakdown of trust, and it’s happening all over the place. Trust in social and governmental institutions are at an all-time low, trust in the media … even lower. Trust in our friends is even breaking down.
So much of this is driven by social-media-fueled anger and envy … but let’s not pretend these trends just suddenly “cropped up” after the invention of Facebook.
Our cultural agreements are fraying around the edges.
Which is why I keep coming back to this: how you carry yourself and your own mind is the most important aspect of this current crisis.
This has implications for your wallet, your family (if you have one), your friendship circles, your Staten Island business (if you have one), and your future.
You have a choice TODAY about how you funnel your energy and your attention. How will you treat those who disagree with you (on important things even)? How will you organize your lockdown-restricted day?
Unless your vocational calling requires you to run down various rabbit holes of viral pathogens or nefarious cabals out to take over the world … ask yourself:
Does this information that you are consuming help you accomplish the mission you’ve been given in life?
Are you moving your family, your career, and your soul forward through what you are doing right now?
If the answer to those questions is still “yes”, great.
But if it isn’t … may I humbly suggest the following:
Yes, this can be especially difficult in this cultural moment. Yes, you might be massively affected by what is happening right now in our world.
But YOU decide what drives YOU. Nobody else can do that for you.
And will you move our local world forward?
That’s what we’re trying our best to do here, with our Staten Island tax clients and our friends.
And I hope you’ll join us.
Anthony R. Mauriello, E.A.
“CRISIS Action Plan” for my clients and friends:
1) Don’t marinate in other people’s panic. Be mindful of your social media consumption.
2) Continue to stay financially and logistically prepared for worsening situations.
3) Make sure you have some ready, liquid assets, if you are able. (I.e., cash in the bank, and in hand.)
4) Set aside plans for any big spending until the dust settles — but especially look out for your small business owner friends and vendors.