I was nominated by a former Tim Horton’s coworker for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And I have to admit, I was torn between taking part in what seemed like a ridiculously conceited action with no benefit to ALS, donating to ALS without doing the challenge, or just ignoring my nomination all-together.
Initially I thought of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge like a cause that lost its purpose. I felt that people forgot the meaning behind the challenge and rather captured themselves whining like a 5-year old child as ice cold water is poured over their heads. I couldn’t help but compare it to the “No-Makeup Selfie” challenge that was supposed to raise awareness of Breast Cancer, and even the nomination to outdrink or drink less responsibly than your friend who nominated you to one-up their ridiculously irresponsible chug.
My Faceobok news feed consisted of my friends completing the challenge, some failing to mention the ultimate goal of donating to the cause, some mispronouncing the “ASL” challenge altogether, some celebrity challenges, and even some from actual ALS victims.
After watching a few videos from actual ALS victims, I realized that the challenge isn’t so bad after all. Other than those that failed to complete the challenge successfully, there was some actual success resulting from these videos.
$100 million has already been raised for the American ALS Association, and $12.5 million for ALS Canada. Awareness of the disease is at an all time high. So, for that, the challenge is more than successful.
I had no idea what ALS was until the ice bucket challenge started. I didn’t even know that friends of my family suffer from the terrible disease. I also had no idea what pouring ice water over your head had to do with ALS.
Rather than taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I’d like to take away a few things instead: Awareness on the disease, compassion for the victims, and a reminder to have an open mind, caring heart, and a nonjudgmental attitude towards everyone. You can’t always see a disease or a disability. Everyone struggles with something at some point in their lives.