What is it with these people who are angry about the new ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? I see several posts on my Facebook page about how annoyed people are that their feeds contain too many videos of people doing this challenge. I say, “Then perhaps you should not watch them.” After that, I roll my eyes.
Why is this a problem? I’ve seen people pronounce that others may be doing the challenge to bring attention to themselves, rather than the disease or cause itself. I’ve seen people criticize the doers of the task (dousing themselves with ice water), proclaiming those people don’t know enough about the disease and/or don’t understand how incredibly awful it is.
For what it’s worth, here is what I think…
I lost my father to a disease that most people do not understand, and some people do not believe exists. What I would not give to have the recognition for his disease that we now have for ALS. I do not know who came up with this challenge, but I think he/she is a fundraising genius. Many people who would have never paid attention to ALS are now aware and several of those people are paying attention, creating more attention, and some of them are donating to a very worthy cause.
I personally don’t care if there are a few people out there who are “attention hoarders” and are doing the challenge because they want to be filmed and have the video put up on social media. Of course that is a terrible reason for doing the challenge, but it’s certainly possible that someone else might see that video and be made aware of a disease that needs more recognition. Maybe that person will see a video put together by one of those “self-promoters” and decide he wants to volunteer to help solicit donations for the cause, answer calls on a hotline, hand out water at a fundraising walk, or donate a large amount of money to a cause he now knows and believes is worthy.
Granted, both of my children wanted to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. They had no idea what it meant, who it might benefit, and I admit, they just wanted to have cold water poured over their heads. I was delighted they showed interest because it gave me a chance to sit down and talk with them about the disease, how the Challenge would benefit those who have it, and what a great idea it was to start creating awareness for this disease. My sons even took time to look up “ALS” on the Internet and read more about it. I hardly think the children doing the Challenge in many of the videos I’ve seen aren’t being educated about the disease by their parents prior to performing the task. To me, this is wonderful.
I also have a huge problem with those who are angry with people who are not donating to the cause, but rather doing the Challenge instead. First of all, I believe that’s how the instructions are given; a person is to either donate to the cause or do the Challenge. Why all the frustration and anger? What if the person taking the Challenge can’t afford to donate? What if said person has already donated or plans to donate but doesn’t feel that he needs to make it public? How do all the angry people know that the Ice Bucket Challenge Taker isn’t a very philanthropic person who has already donated hundreds of dollars to other worthy charities and simply cannot do more?
Instead of tearing each other down and criticizing a person who wants to participate in something that is simply good, why can’t everyone support each other and share the videos in order to create more awareness for this debilitating disease? It’s true, if everyone could donate, it would be ideal. After all, the foundation needs money to find the cure, help the afflicted, and to support their family members. However, creating awareness is also very effective. We should all remember that keeping silent about a disease that needs attention won’t ever get us anywhere. Creating awareness will make a difference in the long run.
That being said, I’m going to check out my Facebook page and see if there are any new videos of people doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I’m going to watch all of them and then be thankful there are people out there spreading the word one way or another.