There is a lot of evil in the world today. There is police brutality, racial inequality, riots, child abuse, hunger and a lack of basic medical care for many of our citizens. There are children dying of horrible diseases, children losing their parents to horrible diseases. These are just a few examples happening in our own country. If you look around the globe, the weight of the pain and suffering in the world is massive.
Sometimes I feel so small, as if I can do nothing to change the world in which I live. So I’m sitting here, not necessarily trying to ignore all the bad things but feeling like there’s no way I can make a ripple in this pond. Bartender, I’ll have another Diet Coke. And then along comes the ice bucket challenge. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the deal. You get nominated (or challenged) to either dump a bucket of ice water over your head or send money to the ALS charity of your choice. Most people are doing both and oodles of money has been raised.
I admit I was reluctant to get involved. I had heard of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) before and certainly knew it was a devastating disease. But, like many people, I have several other charities that I support and a limited amount of dollars to do so. I recently told a friend, “Babies, boobs and animals get me all the time!” And frankly, no one had even nominated me yet, so I thought I was off the hook.
Then two things happened. I discovered that a co-worker’s husband lives with ALS and four years ago, their daughter started a neighborhood carnival to raise money for the Connecticut chapter of ALS Association. What started out as a $700 fundraiser has turned into an event that raises over $4000 for the cause with corporate sponsors. Picturing that kid trying to raise money to help her dad just got to me. Talk about ripple in the pond.
The second thing that happened was that I got nominated. By my husband. To throw cold water over my head. Thanks honey. We had all helped him with his ice bucket Saturday morning. My daughter was beside herself with glee that someone had nominated (or dominated-her words) daddy. We made a point to tell her why Daddy was being so crazy and she got to help him with the ice. She was even more ecstatic when Daddy nominated me! A little to joyous if you ask me!
I learned that sometimes it’s fun to have your kid get the upper hand. So much of our time lately is spent on discipline and stuff that’s just no fun. We’re constantly trying to make her live according to our rules, forcing her to do this, telling her she has to do that. Giving her a chance to stick it to mom for a change was worth the near-heart attack. I don’t think she could have been happier if Queen Elsa herself stopped by for tea. Just listen to her maniacal laugh:
Some say it’s a waste of water, that there are other problems in the world that are bigger. Some say there are more worthy causes. How could I do something that was fun and frivolous, albeit a little wasteful, in these trying times? I say that’s exactly why I did it. The ice bucket challenge was the perfect mix of fun and charity and it was EASY. There are worse ways to waste water. I’m sure I do many of them. The next time I order myself an ice-cold Diet Coke, I’ll just say “Hold the ice.”
(And a lot of people are forgetting to tell people where to donate when they dry off. Here’s where I contributed: ALS Carnival 2K14)