My Rant about the #ALS #IceBucketChallenge

I haven’t had a rant in a while. Perhaps nothing has rattled me that much lately, so I’ve let things roll off me like water off a duck’s back. Speaking of water …

By now, most of you are aware of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. ALS, (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as “Lou Gehrig’s” disease or Motor Neurone Diseases in the UK has come up with an innovative way to raise money for its cause. The Challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. Recipients of the Challenge have 24 hours to comply or they are asked to make a donation (originally set at $100). The Challenge has gone viral with the participation of celebrities and other public figures. Facebook and Youtube are popular media outlets for sharing the videos.

As the movement has grown, people are choosing to both donate AND get water dumped on their heads. How much money people donate can range from $10 to $100, or even more.

All in good fun, but most importantly, all for a worthy cause that has raised record amounts of money for a disease that currently has no cure.

I recently did the Challenge and posted the video on Facebook. I have no connection to ALS and prior to my nomination, knew little about it. I now know a lot more because of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

So, why am I ranting?

For whatever reason, I’m suddenly seeing a lot of hostile comments interspersed with the videos of those participating in the Challenge. I don’t understand it.

The range of criticism is vast:

“Participants are posting videos only to get publicity and boost their own egos.”

“The Challenge is wasting water.”

“We’re dumping water on our heads when people all over the world are really suffering. It shows we are disconnected to the global community.”

“ALS is stealing funds from diseases like cancer, which affects more people.”

That last one was the final straw for me. Really? Are we now comparing diseases to see which is more worthy of funding? Exactly how do we measure the worthiness of one life against another?

For me, charity is very personal. Why we donate to some causes and not to others is no one else’s business. That also applies to how people choose to use social media. If they are posting videos of themselves for the Ice Bucket Challenge, then it’s their business. Don’t like it? Don’t watch the videos. Don’t comment. Don’t share. Unfollow the person if it offends you so much. It’s that simple.

If you think the Challenge is wasting water, consider how you can conserve water the next time you take a bath, a shower, or do your laundry. Water is everyone’s responsibility every time we use it.

I don’t disagree the world is in turmoil, and many people are suffering. We cannot possibly know the plight of those living through war, starvation, and poverty unless we’ve experienced it. We can help by donating money, time, and giving of ourselves in creative ways to make the world a better place. By being born in the west or a developed country, we are extremely fortunate, but we cannot help those less fortunate by apologizing for the way we live.

If you think your money is better served donating to PETA, cancer, or another cause, then DO IT. The Ice Bucket Challenge is certainly not dictating where your money should go. If anything, it has given visibility to other charitable organizations that need help.

Lastly, don’t rain on the parade of those who are trying to do good. They’ve already had ice water dumped on them. Negativity helps no one. Convert your judgement, scorn, and mockery into something useful or SHUT UP.

End rant.

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44 Comments

Filed under Revelations & Humor

44 responses to “My Rant about the #ALS #IceBucketChallenge

  1. Eden, can you hear me applauding you all of the way from Little Rock, Arkansas? If I could do one of those high pitched whistles I’d be doing that too. Thank you for your words. I am so very glad to hear them. There has been so very much negativity about this wonderful fund raising effort and I am so glad to hear someone say, “Enough!” You did it so very well too. Hugs, Ardee-ann

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  2. Reblogged this on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m and commented:
    Some do complain about dumping ice water on people. However, that act has pumped up donations and spread the word farther and more effectively. I was going to rant about this, but my friend Eden Baylee said it fine, so here it is. The ALS Challenge is a lesson in marketing and charity and reasonableness and love. Maybe even solutions to a wretched disease, I hope.

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  3. Eden, you have every right to rant! Negative people really suck! I did not know who ALS was – I knew a dodgy agency which took away my livelihood a couple of years ago, which stood for (Absolue Language Solutions). From your challenge, I learn of a charity which does good!

    You did great & I’m really proud of you! Great job in shutting up the cynics and critics. Keep up with the great work! Sending you my absolute admiration & lots of positive vibes!

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  4. Well said! I don’t understand the mentality of these trolls who constantly put down ANYTHING on the net that people find positive. How do you even get through life with an attitude like that? Sorry…now I’m ranting! Great post! 🙂

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  5. Rob Hyman

    Eden,
    Fine job. You should rant more often. You Canadians are too busy apologizing for everything (so I’ve been told) so go for a stronger rant next time. Don’t hold back. Channel Kate!!

    hugs

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    • Haha! Rob, you are too funny sometimes. Have I told you that? When you come to Canada, you should record how many times people apologize to you and see if that “myth” is true.

      Thanks for the comment, hon. xox
      eden

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  6. Unfortunately one charity benefitting from a spike in donations does cause other charities to see a reduction in what they receive. The solution give more to charity – full stop – don’t wait to be prodded by clever marketing, but when somebody does come up with a clever ploy it’s okay to jump on the bandwagon. Just don’t forget that charity after the fuss dies down.
    Rant on Eden.

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    • Frank, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      I know the pool from which to draw donations is limited, but I believe people who usually give will continue to do so as long as they are able. Maybe they will shift their priorities and give a bit less to another charity. That’s possible. Or maybe they will spread the word about ALS and someone who has never donated to a charity will start doing so.

      I think it all goes to knowledge. The Ice Bucket Challenge has spread the word about ALS in a way no one could have imagined. Who knew? A silly gimmicky challenge … but somehow it connected. And that connection also raised funds. I have to applaud ALS’s use of social media for their cause.

      Like you, I wish we did not need prodding to be charitable. Unfortunately, I think we are a long way off from that. It would certainly save these organizations money allocated to canvassing support.

      From a personal note, my donating to ALS will not prevent me from giving to other charities I usually support, but it may prevent me from buying that new dress I didn’t need anyway. I suppose it’s all about priorities.

      Thanks again for dropping by,
      eden

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  7. Canadians are the best ranters. It’s so good to hear someone speak their mind without the worries of PC. We all should give some of our time and money to causes WE believe in. There’s plenty to do in this world to help our fellow earthlings and the ocean, and the forest and the… Speak your mind, Eden, because you have a beautiful mind.

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    • Oh Dannie xox Thank you for your kind words. I had to temper myself otherwise there would have been a lot of “f-” words in this post, but that would not have served anyone.

      Really appreciate your comment, eden

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  8. You go girl! My husband and I did the ice bucket challenge together for his work a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s great that the message has spread so far. I even had a friend participate off the coast of Ireland on her anniversary trip. The Atlantic was her ice bucket. : )

    When anything or anyone is successful, it seems like a mob of Negative Nancies with their silly little pitchforks are never far away.

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    • Amazing Britt! I’ve seen people in Israel participating, so it definitely is a worldwide effort. Yes, the negativity … just don’t get it. People need to get over themselves and do something good instead of complaining.

      Thanks for commenting, hon xox
      eden

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  9. Applause, Eden, long applause.

    It may sound strange to say this, but Im thrilled that you just had a rant about this! Brava !! Ignore the semi-trolls; the budding dictators; those who can’t come to terms with themselves. Thank the Gods we still have freedom of choice. Who would want to live in a world where that freedom is taken away from us. OK, now I’d better stop! I don’t want to out-rant you!!

    You’re brave for doing the ice-bucket challenge. I loved the way you tried not to take notice of the screaming cold of the iced water and go straight to your nominations! Must be all that meditation you do 🙂

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    • Hah, John! I know you can easily out-rant me! You’re a Master 😉 I did have a bit of brain-freeze after the water dump. That’s why I knew I’d better write down the names 😉

      Thank you for reading and commenting , lovely man
      xox
      eden

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I really can’t think of anything I can possibly add to this. Well said!!

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  11. This is why you’re so awesome! I’ve been kicking around doing a rant but I wouldn’t be nearly as polite (hence why I haven’t done one yet). There is literally nothing more I can add. Well said. 🙂

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  12. Rant on, rave on, ravishing one! All well said! 🙂

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  13. Eden, when we were in MD our grandkids & their other halves/friends were doing it & donating. They have always been involved with raising money for charities, even as little kids. Loved your rant and it was right on. Julie Chitwood – Bill’s other half 🙂

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    • Hi Julie! So great to see you. (You look surprisingly like Billy Ray, but I’m sure you’re much better looking 😉 ) I’m in agreement with you that fundraising and charity should begin as lessons when we are young.
      They really establish us as adults to appreciate what we have and how we can share with others less fortunate.

      Kudos to your grandchildren and their friends!

      So lovely of you to comment, thanks again, Julie xox
      eden

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  14. Lance

    As I said in my challenge posted last week, my wife’s grandmother died from ALS two years ago and I have dear friend’s husband slowly dying from it , now.

    I think anything that helps, is good.

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  15. You can put the most positive, wonderful, sad or moving thing on Social Media or anywhere else for that matter and you will always find somebody who trashes it. There is something in some human beings that prevents them from acknowledging that someone else does something worthwhile. Frustration? Guilt? Jealousy? You name it. The best thing is to ignore these suckers. Thank for the post!

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  16. Christa, you’re probably right. Maybe it’s a strange ‘negative gene’ that some people have inherited—Glass half empty types.

    Thank you for your comment, really appreciate the support, eden

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  17. CiaraBallintyne

    It’s interesting – I dislike the Challenge precisely because charity is personal (as you say).What I dislike is the ‘public shaming/blackmail’ element of the Challenge. That may just be the way my brain is wired. I tend to refuse to do things that people try to make me do just to prove that they can’t make me do it. However, clearly the Challenge is working for the majority of the population.

    If I get challenged will I dump ice water over my head? No chance. Will I donate to ALS? Again, no. I already donate to Save the Children and a charity that helps to get underage girls out of vicious prostitution along Brazil’s highway.

    The Challenge has raised awareness and money and that is fantastic – I guess I’m just sad that it takes this kind of method to make it happen.

    Or in other words, why can’t more people just donate money to charities without needing these kinds of tactics. The Challenge will come, and it will go, and after it is gone I expect donations will fall again.

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    • Hi Ciara, thank you for your honesty and your comment. As I said to Frank (earlier commenter), it’s unfortunate we need prodding to donate, but obviously we do.

      Why can’t people donate to charities without needing these kinds of tactics? Good question. I think human beings are not wired to give money freely (even to help others) unless they are shown a good reason for ‘why’ they should. And this is fair considering there is so much competing for our limited funds. Some will donate purely out of compassion, others may only give if they get a tax receipt. Some do it if they’ve been personally touched by the disease. The reasons are as diverse as people are diverse.

      One of the barriers for donating relates to how organizations make their requests for funds. This Challenge did not work for you, but it has worked for many. Still, ALS only gets one kick at the can using this tactic. What will it think of next? Whatever it is cannot possibly have the same impact. Now, it must think of a more longterm goal if it wants continued support.

      For me, it’s not about public shaming, but more about solidarity. I’m not one who jumps on any bandwagon, but I did it to bring awareness to ALS. When I say charity is a personal affair, what I mean is that it’s nobody’s business to whom I donate or how much. That is private. I have no issue helping to bring awareness to ALS, and if something as benign as dumping water on my head does it, then so be it.

      I respect your opinion, Ciara. I believe we all want to help in any way we can, and good volition goes a long way to making the world a better place. Thanks again for commenting,

      eden

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    • Ciara, I don’t think the intention was to shame anybody or make us feel guilty. I applauded the fundraiser and shared it although I did not participate myself because like you I had just donated to another cause. I don’t feel ashamed or guilty because of it. Our means are limited. We have to make choices. However, I was happy to see that people show so much enthusiasm for a good cause. Should we contribute more often and without being prodded? Probably.

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  18. You are totally right on the money! How can we possibly measure the worthiness of one life against another…

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  19. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Ha, Tommy! Thank you, appreciate your words – three times yet! 😉

      eden

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      • its just stunning how it seems that so many people make their daily goals squashing the fun out of everything. I call them “Fun suckers’. What kind of life is letting the air out of other balloons?? I’m ok if you disagree with me and my hustle…but why do you have to make my life miserable in the process. Can’t you just disagree and walk away? So many people are looking for any crack to chisel away at. It’s as if they are looking for you to falter and then pounce on you! What a horrible life that must be!

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        • Hi Tommy,

          I think some people disagree with the way ALS is soliciting funds and I respect that. If they choose not to take up the challenge or donate – that’s their business. I don’t consider it my responsibility to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. All I did was throw out the offer of a challenge after I did mine. How the recipients I named wished to act upon it was out of my control. At the end of the day, we are merely cogs in a much bigger wheel.

          The people who sit on the sidelines and criticize, and as you say, “let the air out of the balloons” but offer nothing constructive are the ones who bother me. I just get tired of negativity — it’s such a waste of energy.

          Thanks again for commenting,
          eden

          Like

  20. Heather M. Gardner

    Well said!
    Exactly!

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  21. I just saw this on Facebook. In Germany they did a slightly different kind of Ice Bucket challenge, having learned from some of the criticism. They took leftover ice from a market (so they didn’t have to waste money on buying ice), the took water from the river Elbe (which has more than enough water) and, last, but not least they donated not just to ALS but to organizations which provide fresh water to people in Africa, to the orphans in Syria and to some different organizations. Not sure you can get to the video, but here it is. It’s in German but the pictures don’t need translation:

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    • Hi Christa, my hats off to the German team who did this. This is a fantastic example of DOING over GRIPING, and where other charities get exposure and are helped in the process.

      I appreciate your sharing,
      eden

      Like

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