Ice Bucket Challenge?

No thanks. Not for me.

I can’t seem to avoid it. And it bothers me. And it bothers me that I’m not sure why.

It’s for charity, right? It’s harmless, right? It’s kind of fun to see people you know playing along and looking a little silly, right? All true.

So what’s the problem then?

Let me just rant for a minute and see if I can sort this out. At least for myself:

I hate being told what to do. It’s peer pressure and it just reminds me of some uncomfortable days from my youth. “Come on, just try it. Everybody’s doing it.” Ummm, no? That seems stupid. Just because everybody is doing something does not automatically mean it’s a good choice.

ALS is a good cause. Absolutely. Fortunately, I can’t think of anyone that I am closely connected to that’s been affected. I’ve seen the videos and stories of those that are and have been touched. It’s tragic and the ice bucket challenge is doing great things to bring both awareness and funding to the issue. Kudos. This one just doesn’t hit close to home for me. I’m thankful for that.

The money. Ten bucks or a hundred bucks. Theoretically, if you DO the challenge, you’re supposed to donate $10 to ALS. If you DON’T do the challenge (within 24 hours of being nominated), you’re supposed to donate $100. Who’s to say that I can afford ten bucks? Or a hundred? I’ve seen several celebrities who have been nominated (and who’ve participated). Don’t you think ten or a hundred bucks is different to them than it is to you or me? Yes, many people are donating a different sum of money that is relevant to their own personal situation. That makes sense. Ten bucks or a hundred bucks is arbitrary. I don’t like that.

Dumping ice cold water on my head? I’ve seen people say we’re wasting ice and/or water for a silly challenge. Probably true, but I’m not gonna stand on that soap box. Whatever. I’m sure I waste more than my share of water. I do my best to recycle and to conserve water but I’m far from perfect here. I think my biggest issue with this one is that it just plain looks COLD and UNCOMFORTABLE! Nah. Don’t think I need to do that either.

Why ALS? Aren’t there other worthwhile charities? Absolutely. Hundreds, if not thousands probably. Livestrong has been another popular charity that I’ve been connected to. The iconic yellow bracelet seemed to be everywhere a few years ago. For what it’s worth? I never wore the bracelet, either. Just seemed too ‘pop-culturish’ to me.

One last thing then I’ll quit my rant. Referrals. I’ve always hated them. If anyone ever asked me for a few friends or family that could benefit from their services? Nope, not gonna happen. I value my privacy and don’t want any unsolicited contact from a vendor. You can bet I’m not going to give up names and/or contact information of those people close to me. Why would I do that? I’ve never asked for referrals in my profession, either. I simply try to do right and trust that people will speak highly of me if and when the conversation turns to a subject in which I might be involved.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a good thing overall. It’s raising money and awareness. I’m honored to have been nominated. That means people are thinking of me. In fact, the second time I was nominated, it was from a video in which three of my high school basketball teammates were participating. I have fond memories of those three (and all my teammates) and I was sincerely flattered that they would think of me. Bob, Kevin and Tony? Thank you. I need to do better and catch up with you fellas someday soon.

Basketball has been central to my life, and I’ve been touched by cancer. Which is why I’m taking the opportunity that the ALS challenge has presented, and donating an amount that’s relevant to me to a charity of my choice: The V Foundation.

Not gonna nominate anyone else. If you’ve gotten this far? Pick a cause that’s meaningful to you. Do your research. Here’s one link to check out: Charity Donate your money, or your time, or your talent, whatever makes sense. And do it on your own timetable.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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