Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The photo above is from 18 Dec 2022, looking out the window through condensation at a winter sunrise.
December 2022 Content
There have been 15 new posts to the Resources For Life dot com website for the December 2022. These are mostly year-end reports on various topics with videos. To view these, visit the What’s New page. [View]
Public Interest Outcomes
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed teaching on various tech topics to groups of people at the University of Iowa, Kirkwood Community College, and at the Iowa City Public Library.
When I think about the need for digital literacy to be available to everyone in our community, I imagine starting a non-profit organization to serve that mission. I’d find board members to guide the organization. I’d seek out donors and corporate sponsors. I’d buy, build, or lease a facility where the digital literacy courses could be offered. I’d hire staff to teach the courses. Curriculum would be developed. There would be a lab with computers and other tech devices that get refreshed every few years as needed.
So often when I envision a new business or non-profit, I realize the goals and outcomes are already being served by an existing entity — usually above and beyond what I could have imagined. The successes and failures have already been experienced. Rather than trying to establish something new, I seek out what’s already established and working — then I support, donate, join, and/or volunteer.
In recent years, I’ve started donating to the Iowa City Public Library to support the series of free tech classes open to the public. [View ICPL Tech Classes]
This is a perfect example of envisioning a public interest outcome, then finding someone who is already achieving that outcome with great efficiency. It’s such a weight off to know that mission is already being served and with such excellence.
Everyone has had the experience of thinking “Wouldn’t it be great to have _____” or “Somebody should really _____.” Quite often, it turns out that what you’re imagining is already being done.
It’s difficult initially to give toward an enterprise where it’s not run precisely as you would run it. Maybe you’ve come up with a great catchy slogan or name for an organization and prefer that over what’s already established. If we can step back, and focus instead on actual outcomes, then the process is less important to us. The same goals are being accomplished.
When I learned that the library was offering tech classes, I suggested they create a dedicated page on the website to list them, and offered some suggestions on how that could be done. Their web person took care of the details. It was an opportunity to have a bit of input and personal influence. It also gave me a web page address to send people to in promoting the classes to my own computer customers and through social media. [View ICPL Tech Classes]
Through giving to the ICPL and perhaps in some way having some influence on the success of the library, I feel like I’m a shareholder of something really valuable.
Another example of “Wouldn’t it be great to have _____” is the idea of having a team of people who serve the retired and senior members of our community. I envisioned this more on the scale of a neighborhood, as “Home Services” that could be offered by able neighbors. On a small scale, close by, there is a lot we can do to help neighbors. I setup a Home Services page on the Resources For Life website. [Learn More] It’s a template for what neighborhoods could establish — basically make the entire city a retirement community, one neighborhood at a time. An organization called TRAIL of Johnson County is doing this county-wide, as a formal non-profit group with many people involved. It’s another example where I’ve decided to donate to an organization that’s already doing the thing I thought would be a good idea. It’s already being done, and being done very well. [Learn More About TRAIL] They now list me as a local resource for those needing tech help.
What’s really nice about Iowa City and Johnson County is that whatever you can think of, it’s probably already being done. You can give and get involved, and feel good about the impact.
My tech writings, buying guides, and support documents for December 2022 are on the Iowa City Tech website featured on the posts page. Only a few new items were added last month. [View]
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Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.
Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 23 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith/philosophy), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]