Preparing for what’s next…

In 1997, I established the ResourcesForLife.com website as an online venue for engaging in public interest work and supporting others who work to make the world a better place. 

To fund those efforts, rather than asking for donations, I planned to start businesses that would generate surplus revenue to cover the cost of my outreach efforts. That model worked well for 24 years.

Since there were no big-money donors or advertisers, I was unrestrained in the challenges I could undertake and the commentary I would write.

Through writings, videos, public speaking, and direct outreach, I hoped to positively impact education, the environment, healthcare, consumer rights, worker rights, housing, civic engagement, and other areas. 

One of my favorites areas of public interest work has been consumer advocacy. An example would be a negotiation I had with Apple that reduced the cost of a product by 90%. In 2003, the song American Pie was selling for $9.99 on iTunes (purchase of the entire album was required). I negotiated with Apple’s legal counsel at the time, arguing that their advertising promised songs for 99-cents. After an extended dialog over many days, I won that negotiation. My time was volunteered. I received nothing personally of monetary value, and there was no news coverage of the victory. But the satisfaction of having won against Apple still inspires me to this day. There were similar successes over the years and also some bewildering instances where companies would not back down from engaging in short-sighted, self-destructive practices.

In 2012, I launched the Threat News Radar project with the goal of tracking news of global issues that threatened the environment, human rights, government stability, and the world in general. By 2018, there were so many of these threats in the news that it was no longer possible to write individual articles about them. So, I would share the dozens of weekly stories through social media. It required less time to write a short summary and provide a link. Now, in 2021, there are so many of these reports daily that it’s not possible to keep up. 

In recent days, there have been reports of 1,200-year droughts as well as numerous 1,200-year floods around the world. Now there are websites dedicated to reporting on the massive floods we are witnessing globally. Fires in the west are creating thick haze and air quality issues impacting Chicago and even New York. Southwestern states are running out of water. A lack of interest in curtailing viral threats is resulting in cycles of more contagious variants of greater lethality. The seriousness and frequency of all these threats continue to increase. Last year in Iowa, we had a storm that left 300,000 people without power. 

Four days ago, more than 32,000 websites and apps went down, including those from Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Costco, FedEx, GoDaddy, LastPass, McDonald’s, UPS, US Bank, Vanguard, and about 32,000 others. It’s not yet known if this was the result of human error or malicious hacker activity. But does it really matter what the cause was? These incidents of massive outages and security breaches are increasing in frequency and impact.

The U.S. national debt continues to increase every second, with seemingly no concern that it be paid down. Regional population growth exceeds the availability of water and other resources required to support life. Indeed, the world population continues to grow at a rapid rate, resulting in regional scarcities that produce strife, war, and suffering.

Given the above facts, it’s even more important than ever that we not dwell on what’s wrong in the world. It’s also equally important that we not ignore global threats. Those of us who care should focus on solutions. We should do what we can to raise awareness and take positive action in our own lives.

For these reasons, in preparing for what’s next, I’m focused on pursuing minimalism and simplifying my life. I am getting rid of possessions I’m not using. I also am looking for ways to simplify my digital life. Over the past few days, I’ve reduced the ResourcesForLife.com website to a single simple webpage. It had grown to be too much for one person to manage, and much of the content was outdated. The cost in time and money to maintain the site was excessive, and the website in itself produced no revenue.

The global priorities and urgency have dramatically shifted, and we all need to adjust accordingly. I’m currently evaluating where my time and resources can be better invested to have the greatest positive impact in the world.

I’ll report more in the days to come about my plans for what’s ahead. I’ll continue to provide tech services since that is my personal area of expertise and the best way to help those who depend on me.

MORE

  • This article is part 3 in a series on the need for minimalism. Parts 1 and 2 are in my most recent monthly updates. [Part 1 | Part 2]
  • The photo above is from a visit to the Hoover Dam on 23 Dec 2019.
  • To signup for my short monthly email for news about what’s going on in my life, please click here.

Greg Johnson – Personal Update 201505

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Personal Update 201505 | 30 May 2015 | Saturday

Greetings,

I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.

Health

This past month I’ve started riding my bike more. I’ve been seeing more success with weight loss and overall wellness. As we head into the summer, with the longer days, I hope to do more riding. We have some great trails in the Iowa City area. I’m also hoping to get back to the gym. Hopefully in my next update I’ll have more good news.

Politics

As you may know, over the years I’ve had an interest in politics. I recently updated the Political Resource Group web page. A few years ago, I launched AGovernmentOfThePeople.com civics website, which continues to grow. Today I had the opportunity to go hear Bernie Sanders speak in Iowa City. Fortunately I was able to get an ideal seat for making a video recording of the event. I’ve shared the video on YouTube and Vimeo. You can watch the Vimeo version below.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/129315899]

Music

It’s nice to get a chance to connect with musicians and to somehow be a help to them. Music empowers people to live more joyfully and effectively. It soothes, entertains, brings healing, inspires, and energizes. In recent years, I’ve enjoyed working with people in the music industry on promoting their work. In 2011, I was contacted by an agent working with Sardar Khan on his latest music video “Show ’em All” and then later that year, was asked to help promote a project Sardar developed with Snoop Dogg, “High off the Fame,” which now has over 600,000 views.  In 2012, I was contacted by the producer for Kage Sparks and asked to assist with promoting his latest works. My favorite videos from Kage Sparks are “African Dream” and “Shaka Zulu.” In recent years, I’ve been working with Marq Divine on promoting his work.

Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

~ Greg

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Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 15 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.