Ice Bucket Challenge – a patriot act

Who knew that dumping a bucket of ice water over your head in the name of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis would become a favorite American pastime?

My Facebook page has been inundated with friends paying forward ALS challenges. I have heard the chilly screams of just about everyone I know, voluntarily drench themselves with icy water.

I am not sure if we are creating a country of masochists, but I kind of like it.

People who normally refrain from such shenanigans, seem almost eager to partake. Even young children who are not old enough to know what USA stands for much less ALS are participating in the phenomenon, leaving me to wonder if their generation will believe pouring cold liquid over their heads is just something we Americans do.

It fascinates me that in a country that often seems so divided by politics, religion and social issues; we unite in this effort to raise money and awareness for ALS. As buckets of ice water are filled around the country, there is this collective energy and enthusiasm for doing something good.

That is what this country is about – goodness.

I think sometimes in all our bickering, we forget that. We forget to be united and we forget the power we have to implement change when we work together and pitch in.

We are often so divisive, defensive, and disdainful of opinions or beliefs that stray from our own. Intolerance is something we justify with the million reasons that support our own point of view.

Yet, somehow when it comes to dumping ice water on our heads to raise money and awareness for a devastating disease – we plunge right in.

There are thousands of worthy causes out there. All of which have real people, fellow Americans, who are in desperate need of services, of a cure, of a safe place to sleep at night.

These are people who are in need right now and who will still be in need when our heads have dried and we have ice in our freezer again.

ALS is a devastating disease and I am hopeful that the awareness it has received through this social media campaign will bring us closer to a cure.

But I hope too that it brings us closer as a country – more aware not just of the suffering of a particular disease, but aware of the impact we can have when we unite.

I know Uncle Sam might be a little perplexed by all the icy water overhead, but he would not at all be surprised that we united when we were asked to and that great things happen when we do.propaganda-i-want-you

So in the spirit of good ol’ Uncle Sam, the spirit that is America, I WANT YOU to do something kind for someone in need. Pay forward a blessing you have in your life. Listen a little more. Talk a little less. Slow down. Notice. Donate. Volunteer.

Remember your fellow American. Ask not what he can do for you, but what you can do for him.

Be a patriot and make our country a little kinder. No ice water required.





8 thoughts on “Ice Bucket Challenge – a patriot act

    • August 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you, Teresa. Enjoyed seeing your husband douse himself today!

  • August 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    In not sure you know this Lara, but my uncle (my mother’s only brother) died of ALS 20 years ago this December. I first heard of the challenge when watching the Little League Workd Series last week. THEN my cousin Siobhan (it was her dad who had ALS) and her family took the challenge! They doused themselves in their front yard in the pouring rain! I guess I feel lucky that this challenge was directed to cure a dreadful disease that I experienced first-hand. The amount of money that has been generated from this wacky trend is mind-blowing. Let us all take your advice and pay it forward–not necessarily THIS challenge, but certainly small, random acts of kindness that may have a bigger impact than we can ever imagine.

    • August 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      I am sorry about your uncle. My mom only had one brother also and he too passed to soon. I watched this video yesterday of a 26 year old whose grandmother died from it and whose mother also has it. He said he lived in fear of getting the disease and just months ago was diagnosed. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to know you have that much suffering ahead of you. I have read negative posts on the subject and know it has become tiresome to some people . But that 26 year old also said every time he sees someone dump ice on their head it makes him so happy to know that this disease that has taken so much from him is finally being talked about. So, yes it may seem silly or trivial but after watching his testimony and knowing what lies ahead for him the act doesn’t seem so random. Anything we can do — big, small or ridiculous to ease someone else’s suffering, I think is worth doing.

  • August 26, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Amen! It’s not about the ice, it’s about taking time out of your day, even just a tiny bit, to come together and do something for someone else in whatever way you can and whatever way feels right to you :). I too am amazed at how this has taken off…we can do a whole lot when we work together!

    • August 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      You are right Rose – it is not what is being done,but why. Really it has been such a great reminder to me of the power of working together. I think at the end of the day, we have a lot more in common with one another than we realize. It’s nice to see all the differences set aside and see people step outside their comfort zone in a show of solidarity and awareness.

  • September 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Liked it. We should stop all the bickering and do something good with all that energy.

    • September 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Alexa- and in flash it’s over! I don’t think I have seen a person dump ice water on their head in days! But hopefully the energy and the willingness to step out of our box for someone else will keep going.


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