Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Was it altruism or narcissism?

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Was it altruism or narcissism?  
Truthfully, when I heard about this ice bucket challenge I had no idea what it was about. I slowly began rumblings that people were jumping on the bandwagon on it. I was tempted too, as it was for a good cause. Then, I discovered this; a person was to donate one hundred dollars for the cause or to take a photo of themselves pouring a bucket of ice over them. Naturally, I wondered if those who took photos of themselves were actually donating to a worthwhile charity, or were they merely taking a selfie?
Interestingly, more than 2.4 million flooded Face book and Twitter with videos and photos of themselves getting soaked with ice water. Question: did any of these people donate to the ALS drive, or were they merely being narcissist with their selfies? Did we really need to see so many, including celebrities posting selfies in order to raise money? Couldn’t all these people just go ahead and donate to the cause instead? In this day of social media, one cannot deny everyone wants to have their fifteen minutes of fame, which is why so many participated in the challenge.  Vanity drives social media and social media drives society. That is obvious.

Fortunately, through this gimmick, the ALS association raised about ninety million dollars since the end of July, which is thirty five times more than the charity raised in the same period the prior year. Granted, the disease is a horrible affliction, but a rare one. I can’t help but ask that perhaps the money raised for just one disease could have been better utilized to fight a few diseases. Spread the wealth. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think ALS sufferers or anyone with chronic disease, fatal or not has an easy battle and if we can help someone with their suffering, it is only the right thing to do. I just can’t help but want to help everyone and not those just afflicted with ALS. In the end, the ice bucket challenge did a good thing, but I still can’t help but wonder how many actually performed a selfie to boost their image rather than actually making a donation to a worthwhile cause. What did you think about the ice bucket challenge? Did you feel it accomplished what it set out to do?
Until next post...Stay safe. Show compassion. Smile. Ba Happy. Be nice to one another. Pass it forward to others.
S. J. Francis
 In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.

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