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The Ice Bucket Challenge and the Art of Doing Something

Capsicle-Avengers

If you are reading this post and you have not heard of the Ice Bucket challenge, then I assume you are Captain America and you were just unfrozen from the North Pole and for some reason when introduced to technology, you decided to look up my blog first before talking to any human ever. Thanks for the support Cap, but get a Facebook page and find out what the rest of the world is talking about.  Then you can just reply, been doing that since 1945 before it was cool. But for the rest of the world of course you know everywhere that average people, celebrities, athletes, former heads of state, and probably the aliens monitoring our world are all dumping Ice cold water on themselves to support Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, hence the ALS ice bucket challenge.

As you probably know, the process goes by being challenged by someone to dump Ice cold water on yourself and then you give others a 24 hour window to do the same or they have donate to ALS.  Using this process, ALS has raised over 40 million dollars.  Personally I think they aimed too low as the You’ve been lit on fire challenge would elicit a quicker response.  But none the less, this challenge has gone viral and the whole nation is talking about it.

As a byproduct, the viral nature has also brought about its fair amount of criticism.  Many have indicated that this is nothing but a selfish look at me approach, or perhaps just a clicktivism approach that makes people feel like they are doing something when they in reality they are doing nothing. Consequently, there has been as the Ice Bucket Challenge grows in its viral nature, a building amount of criticism against this challenge. However, I can only presume that this public effort to hate on this challenge is led by Debbie Downer.  Yes, the lovable character from Saturday Night Live, go look it up on youtube, who finds a way bring sadness out of joy.  You bring up the joys of kittens, and Debbie Downer reminds you of the chances they die from feline aids.

Here is the thing in my book,  people seem to be happy doing the Ice Bucket Challenge. They do, despite being doused with cold water and all. You have kids and parents doing this challenge together.   Moreover, it seems that for whoever takes the challenge draws others in to this very same challenge.  I mean if this ALS challenge were an infectious disease, the Zombie Apocalypse would be upon us.  Because its spreading, 28 Days later/Walking Dead style. Moreover, it has actually raised 40 million dollars.   Charities like money.  They like money a lot.  So happy people, telling people about a cause, and raising 40 million.  And you got a problem with it.

The downers would reply, “Most of these people would be doing nothing for ALS if it were not some popular fad.” To which I reply, exactly.  Most of these people would not be doing anything for ALS if it were not for this challenge.  So what problem do you have with them doing at least something. Its not that they are bad people for doing nothing.  Many are likely engaged in all sorts of charitable efforts with their time or money.  It might just be that ALS wasn’t one of them.  However, this challenge has gotten entire families engaged in the art of doing something.  Who knows where that something will lead them from here.  One of my leadership mantras has always been the following:  When you don’t know what to do, do something.

My family tries to support a variety of causes that have engaged us.  Consequently, that means that sometimes I have to turn others down.  Sometimes I feel bad about it.  Particularly at a fast food place or store, where at the point of paying for your items, the cashier asks you, “Would like to donate 1 dollar towards stopping baby kittens from being cooked alive in an oven?”  or something like that.  I realize I look like a heartless jerk while paying 20 bucks for my frivolous items and then denying that last dollar, but I simply go to these stores and food establishments too often.  It adds up.  So baby kittens, I’m sorry, but I have to turn you down.

There is a competitive race for the charitable dollar among all the worthy causes that exist in the world.  If there is one that exist which is important to you,then you should fully engage its cause as there are plenty who will not.  See my older article, Because Ann Coulter Doesn’t. However, never underestimate or hate on the art of doing something.  I don’t know if this Ice Bucket Challenge is the best approach, but it is definitely a $40 million something that has happy families participating. So let them do it. Now for fear that someone will challenge me, I have made it known that I only accept Ice Bucket Challenges from current or former Heads of State.  So unless anyone has the hook up with ghost of Abraham Lincoln, you have been warned that an Ice Bucket Challenge is wasted on me.  But for those who want to participate, dump water till your heart’s content and ignore the Debbie Downers.

 

Jeff Edwards

2 Comments

  1. If the idea is to dump water on yoself or donate, and all I see are people dumping water on theyselfs, then no one is donating? Or people are doing both just cuz?

    • Yeah, if the water being dumped was all that came with it, then it might be a little fruitless. However, the 40 millions its raised gives it some street cred in my mind. But in either case, something is often better than nothing. Excellent Comment Don. You get extra points for commenting on the blog.

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