Thursday, September 4, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge... just my 2 cents

If you have a facebook account or sit near anyone who has a facebook account, you surely have witnessed an unprecedented number of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.  And it is all for the purpose of creating awareness and raising funds for research for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Basically you film yourself nominating 3 people to take the challenge, then dump the ice water on yourself.  Or have someone dump it on you.  Either is acceptable.  Then off-camera you send a donation to an ALS charitable organization.  Pretty basic stuff.

And if you have a facebook account or sit near anyone who has a facebook account you also likely have seen that it has created a bit of controversy.

You mean to tell me that people are creating drama over such a good intention, you ask?

Why, yes, my na├»ve friend. They are.

And I was pretty content to just stay out of it until...


Ugh.  I had to decide which part of my brain I was going to listen to.  Was the cynical side, or was the good sport side going to win? 

Just so you know, I'm a card carrying member of the Cynicism Rules club.  A silver star member, thank you very much!

But every once in a while, my Good Sports United membership dues opportunity comes around, and I need to pay up.  I don't want to be dropped from the roster and I sure don't want to miss the newsletters!

So the downside of being a member of both clubs is that when I choose to participate with Good Sports United, I have to justify it before the board of Cynicism Rules.  And I'm not at all comfortable with public speaking, even if it is only imaginary. 

It went a little something like this...

Esteemed Cynics,  I know that you know that there are problems in this world that need to be addressed.  This isn't the Hard-hearted Jerks Club, after all!  And some problems are on a much larger scale than others.  Now, it may seem awfully ridiculous for thousands of people to waste buckets of water when there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who suffer or die because of contaminated water and dehydration. 

But I ask you this... Does a person's decision NOT to waste a bucket of water help those poor people?  I doubt it.  Just like I doubt that cleaning my plate as a kid helped any starving children in China.

A hearty BRAVO! to you, though, for your tender heart for the plight of those living in areas with a lack of good water.  Send them your money!  Go to them and help them dig wells!  Do all that you can to ease their real burden.

It is a good, godly, God-given mission to help the people for whom the Spirit shows you to help.

But, please, I beg you, don't roll contemptuous eyes at someone who wants to do a good deed.  It is unlikely that they will ever be able to do a GREAT deed (if they even want to), so let them have this small gesture.  

If you are socially liberal, derision might not be the best stance for you to take in anyone's charitable endeavor.  I'd hope that you, especially, would encourage everyone to help anyone who suffers in any way that they can.  That way when you insist that our government put more and more money into health care (despite the enormous amount of waste and egregious misuse of funds), your argument might have a bit more umph.

If you are socially conservative then you should be thankful that, due to the donations, burdens are being eased without more government spending.  You win, too!

One of our own here at Cynicism Rules has said "I bet you that half those people aren't even sending in any money!"  I'd expect that from the most judgmental of us.  When you don't KNOW a statistic, make one up based on your supposition to give self-righteous legs to it.  She should be elevated to gold-star, lifetime membership!  But, with all due respect to the one who said it, if half of the people aren't sending in any money that means that half of the people ARE sending in their money!  I've never had half of the people I asked to participate in fundraising say "Yes!", let alone follow through on their commitment.

In closing, I'd like to say that although it is an awfully silly gimmick, it has been a successful one for which many are grateful (

Thank you for your understanding that I will be participating with my Good Sports friends.

Okay, so that speech really didn't happen.  But I have an agenda, which is this...I want to encourage you (and myself) to encourage others to do good where they find good to do rather than dismissing their efforts as not enough or not quite as worthy.

So without any further ado,  I am accepting the nomination to do the Ice Bucket Challenge as an honor.  Thank you, Aunt Becky, for thinking of me as someone who is willing to help promote awareness of a terrible, horrible, body-stealing disease.  

I am so glad that regret that I do not have good video on my phone and have to just show a still shot of my drenched head. 

And now I nominate you all.  Give. Do. Promote.  Wherever and however you feel led.  To the extent you feel led.  And I applaud you!!!!

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