Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Ice Bucket "Threat"

Currently, there is a big fundraising drive for the ALS Association. ALS is the organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease. Somebody had the bright idea to create what is called the Ice Bucket Challenge. You pour a bucket of ice water over your head - capturing it on video - and then challenge one to three others to do the same. The idea is, if you do the challenge, you give a donation of $25. If you don't, you give a donation of $100. In other words, the ice bucket is a "coupon".

My company has gotten into the act as well. A few of the executives did this, and challenged the entire staff to do it. They notified the media, and will be doing a simultaneous dumping at all of the company's locations. They want staff, family, and friends to participate.

Here is where I bring out my "I don't like kids. I don't play games. Get off my lawn!" attitude. The challenge is bringing in record donations - that's a good thing. What bothers me, is that this is purely based on extortion and peer pressure. I, for one, have a tendency to buck any trend. I don't even tend to participate in company picnics or "fun day" events. If everyone is doing it, I find I'd rather not.

Most would consider me an extrovert, so when I decline such things I get confused looks and peer pressure; which further pushes me away from involvement.

I probably can come up with a half-dozen or so "reasons" for my attitude. A psychologist would have a field day. And I'm sure a half-dozen psychologists would come up with a half-dozen different "sources" from my childhood. But am I hurting anyone in this? It's not like I won't donate to the ALS. We have a charity fund for such things. But I won't be donating an amount based on peer pressure. Even if I'm "double-dog-dared". I'll donate what we would normally donate to a charity.

For those of you thinking I'm nothing but a cad, I'll put it to you this way: I don't wear the pink ribbon, but I do give my green cash. Which of the two ultimately has value? The first can be considered a badge: "Look at me! Look at me! I'm wearing a ribbon!" The second? Whether you know it or not, I AM helping to make a difference. And frankly, I really don't care if you do.

Bottom line: if you feel ALS Association is a worthwhile cause, write a check. If you don't - you can always go "soak your head".

© Emittravel 2014

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