Our inboxes and social feeds ping us unceasingly with inbound messages from friends, family and colleagues. Whether personal or professional, most include solicitous and reassuring well wishes for our health during this confounding, hand-wringing (literally!) time. A truly inspiring email stuck with me. It came from Citizen University cofounder and CEO Eric Liu: “A Time for Civic Love” reads the subject line. In it, Liu eloquently notes that this pandemic requires everyone to recommit to the basics of democratic citizenship — and, he says, the most fundamental of these basics is that none of us is truly on our own.
In “normal” times, citizenship of the collective-humane-moral-compass variety that Liu refers to can too easily feel like an academic ideal. But in a time of palpable existential threat, we rapidly realize that citizenship isn’t just high-minded rhetoric — it is a real and endlessly creative human-powered force that weaves the very fabric of our democratic society.
Each April, ParentMap profiles a new cohort of Superheroes for Washington families. We hope their stories of do-goodery will encourage you to rise to the challenges of this stressful time. Circumstances call for super citizens to put on our capes and get to work — certainly to safeguard our own family, but also to sustain our broader community and support those most painfully impacted by this pandemic.
If you’re wondering what values we should prioritize as citizen superheros, we talked to Liu and he offers three guiding principles:
- Society becomes how you behave.
- We’re all better off when we’re all better off.
- Don’t hoard power, circulate it.
ParentMap feels uniquely blessed to be in the “family business” at this extraordinary time, and we are committed to doing our best throughout this difficult and rapidly evolving crisis to support our readers and community partners. We have set up a landing page where we will continue to add the latest information related to the coronavirus, along with a steady stream of ideas to entertain, educate and get your family through this unprecedented time.
Keep safe, care for one another and remember: Citizenship is contagious. (So, please, pass it on.)
This story is featured in the April issue of ParentMap magazine. Our inspiring Community Issue is filled with superheroic stories, as well as top tips to keep you safe and entertained at home. Check out the full issue here.
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