I hate writing about current events. It's just like begging to stir up a shitstorm. I deleted this post twice before actually publishing it. But after scoffing at this all week, I felt a need to truly voice my side of it.
My beef with this ice bucket challenge?
What sort of society do we live in that we have to dare our friends to dump icy, cold water on themselves to get them to care about a cause?
Is that really what we've become?
Believe me, the marketing/grass roots/word of mouth aspect of all of this is awe-inspiring from an advertising/PR point of view. I could sing the praises of whoever started all of this (despite mixed reviews of how it actually originated) I have never once bashed the organization or the fact that they are receiving donations. It's awesome that they have witnessed such a boost in awareness.
What I'm disappointed in is that so many people are only doing it because its "cool". Do you know what isn't nearly as buzzworthy? Sitting at a nursing home for a few hours keeping the residents company. Taking time out of your holiday season to go slop turkey and noodles on a Styrofoam plate for the line of homeless folks standing before you. Throwing your spare change in the red bucket at Christmas. Do you know what makes you feel just as good inside?
My beef isn't with the cause, it's with the motive of the participants. Do you, as a human, as an American, really need guaranteed pats on the back to do good onto others? That mindset is disgusting, you guys.
I have always made a point to donate my time or money to a handful of selected charities every year. Guess what? No one in particular asked me to, and no one sings my praise when I do. I could be lead astray, but I am fairly certain that doesn't decrease the value in what I do. I do it because I feel personally vetted to the individual causes. In one way or another, I have been drawn to each of the respective organizations, and I want to pledge to them. Not because someone dares me to.
I hope that by dumping ice water on your head you do truly realize the meaning behind it, and you do truly want to help cure this disease. I hope that this opens the eyes of many to what a little fun and a little donation of time can lead to. I hope that ALS research advances leaps and bounds by this, but I also hope that people use it as a jumping point to find other things they are passionate about, and find ways to help.
If you pledged anything this year, ice or not. I thank you. Thanks for putting good juju into the world. We need more of that. I genuinely hope that we aren't approaching a time where they only way you can get someone to care about a cause is to turn it into a media circus.