I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking time to read the latest seasonal newsletter. Read the Spring 2022 update for additional news. [View]
Perspective and Triage
On March 9, I’d missed a phone call. The person left a voicemail explaining they were calling from the Netherlands and needed my help and guidance with a plan to build homes for refugees in the Netherlands and other places in Europe. The woman explained she was calling organizations around the world that might be able to help. She sounded like a sincere and caring person, and concluded her message saying she would be awaiting my call. Unfortunately, she didn’t provide her name or any contact information.
I presume, like me, she was concerned about our world in crisis and trying to do something to help people and the planet.
I’ve added to my list of things to do: “Help Europe solve the refugee housing crisis.”
I try to stay informed about local and world news. Too many stories of natural disasters, wars, famine, and drought can be discouraging. I’ve been trying to find a balance. I avoid the tempting escape of ignoring the news as a mechanism to stay positive. I also avoid the trap of “doom scrolling” where one keeps scrolling through social media headlines to the point of feeling hopeless and immobilized with depression.
The middle ground is found in the following: (1) Stay informed from reliable sources about ongoing threats to humanity and the planet, and, (2) Support positive initiatives that solve problems to make the world better. The areas needing attention have been outlined in the list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN. [View]
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, for over two years I’ve been working what feels like non-stop trying to help as many people as possible. My focus has been on providing tech support. I’ve put most other non-essential areas of my life on hold.
I think of this period we’re living in as life during wartime. We’re not at war with any country. We’re at war with the consequences of our own making — economic, environmental, and social problems.
As tech support requests come in, I find myself weighing each one based on priority, severity, and impact. For most people requesting help, the needs are not urgent, so I send them to Best Buy, Staples, or a similar local store. For people who have unique problems not easily solved by the Geek Squad, I’ll see if I can help over the phone. I feel bad about turning people away, but I’m only one person. I can’t help everyone.
I place a priority on those who are distressed, elderly, and/or cut off from family, social services, and a support network.
For each request that comes in, it’s hard to not think of the need in the context of what’s going on in the world.
Given the needs of others, and the challenges faced by people around the world, I’ve postponed a lot of lower priority items in my own life. It’s August and today I finally got around to sending out my “Spring” Resources For Life newsletter, as well as the “Summer” newsletter that was due to be posted on June 1.
In April I began using a paper-based system for time tracking, appointments, tasks, projects, and notes. Now, about three months later, the system is more refined. I’m finding it to be more efficient than similar computer-based systems. Changing the system does not involve hours of rewriting code. I simply edit a document and press print. So, there have been many revisions and improvements to the system.
With the new paper system, I’m following some checklists for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks that help avoid accumulating a backlog of tasks. This helps with prioritizing what really needs to be done. I’ve always had digital lists, but the paper list is easier to keep an eye on. It’s not a computer file that needs to be opened or kept on screen as a reminder.
Hopefully in about a month, for the Fall 2022 newsletter, I can provide an update on how things are going.
Resources For Life was founded with the goal of helping those working for public interest outcomes. Empowering givers and healers helps them give and heal more. There’s a new generation of people feeling called to public service, and it’s inspiring to meet them and see their optimism, creativity, and giving spirit. It keep me motivated.
To get notified when these seasonal newsletters become available, please click here. That’s about four emails per year.
I want to thank the global team of volunteers, contributors, and workers “behind the scenes” who help make all this possible. I’m very grateful to the many people who continue to uphold and advance the mission of Resources for Life. Thanks again for your support. Please let me know if there is any way that Resources for Life can serve you better.
Greg Johnson | Director | ResourcesForLife.com
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