If you have been online over the past few weeks, chances are, you know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. ALS, short for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The person with the disease progressively loses function and control of the body and eventually dies. During this time, the person is fully aware of what is happening, and what a terrifying thought it is to not be able to do anything.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has brought attention to the disease and donations have skyrocketed since the conception of the challenge. Many with the disease have spoken out while well-known celebrities and athletes have done the challenge and donated to the cause.
Although the effort to raise awareness about ALS is admirable, encouraging, positive, and supportive, many have pointed out the negative sides to the challenge. One prominent argument against the Ice Bucket Challenge is that hundreds of gallons of water have been “wasted,” meanwhile, droughts are happening all over the world, with many people living, and have been living, without access to clean water. This view has its merits and maybe better ways to bring focus to ALS are out there, but the fact is that we waste water everyday and we may not even know it. In 2010, The National Geographic Magazine covered the topic of water conservation and pollution, which is more relevant now than ever. So, instead of dragging down and bringing negative emotions to the original intent of the challenge, we should find other positive ways to make a difference in saving water and be well-informed about the issue because water conservation encompasses much more than not dumping a bucket of ice water over the head.
Another argument is that many people who did the challenge only did so because they wanted the “attention” or they did it “just for fun.” No disagreement here. But again, let us see this as a positive effect to the cause. Yes, these people may be attention-hungry and function on applauses and nods, but they are also contributing to the cause, however accidentally it may seem. So, let them have the “fun” and “attention” that they need or want, and let’s see it as a win for everybody.
Because, darn it, this world needs more wins. #ALSIceBucketChallenge