Let’s talk the ice bucket challenge.
Ice bucket challenge? What’s that? Well, if you’ve been living under a rock or in a cave in the good ole U. S. of A over these past few weeks, this is the ice bucket challenge:
If you’re called out to the challenge, you have to either donate $100 to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or as baseball fans commonly know it as: Lou Gehrig’s disease) and call out five people to the challenge OR you dump a big bucket of ice filled water over your head and donate $10 (or more if you choose, many people are still donating the $100 and doing the ice bucket).
How did it start? Former college basketball player, Pete Frates who has ALS, started the whirlwind. It immediately took over the New England states, and in just two weeks, it’s taken over the nation.
Even Bill Gates has done it.
So what’s the big deal? Well, you have all of the Negative Nancy’s taking to social media, pitch forking slacktivism. There are better ways of going about it all, they claim. Telling people to “screw” the challenge and just donate. What’s dumping a bucket of ice water over your head got to do with ALS?
Wow. Way to forget to put on your big kid panties for the day, huh?
First, it’s raised awareness immensely for ALS. I remember a few years ago when I wrote a story about a local man who had ALS that won the car design contest for NASCAR’s Kyle Busch’s Toyota. When I did the story, it was a known disease, but it was still very UNknown to the masses. And at that, a lot, and I do mean A LOT of people were clueless as to what it really was.
I believe my younger sister’s words just last night at family dinner were: It kills you in a month after you get it. (Which she truly, heartfully thought was what happened).
In just two weeks, knowledge of what it is and what it does to a person, has increased probably a billion-fold.
In just two weeks, the ALS Association has reported that their donations are over $13-million, whereas last year’s donations at this time were $1.7-million. There are more than a quarter-million new donors on their list.
Call it “slacktivism” if you will, but shit, it’s working. People are educating and donating. It’s doing exactly what Frates wanted it to do: raise money and awareness. Frates knows, just like the rest of us know, the only way to change the ending of the story of someone with ALS is to raise the awareness of it, and money.
So what about the ice and water? That’s kind of lame…
No, it’s not. It was Frates way of making it fun. Putting some light on an otherwise dark and sad illness. It’s like the woman who found out she had breast cancer and was going in for a double mastectomy and danced around like crazy in the operating room with everyone before she had her surgery.
When people have an illness where the end is clear, dark and final, but clear, most don’t want to think of the bad. They want to live life happy, and full as long as they can.
What has happened to this Nation, that we’ve become so negative, about everything? Look around at what’s happening. Ferguson, MO, school shootings, retired MMA fighter’s beating the crap out of, and almost killing their girlfriend… Seriously. There is so much bad going on, what’s wrong with a little fun and a little good?
So grab that damn bucket of water, that friggin’ bag of ice, donate money, call some friends out, dump that bucket on your head, then do your research and learn about the disease.
It doesn’t kill a damn soul to have a little fun, now does it?
It’s what Frates clearly wanted from the start, so STOP putting your negative light on it.