Kiss My ALS and The #IceBucketChallenge

Key Point: Abundance by nature is more than being positive. It includes the spirit of being generous and expansive. When you have this value built into your character, you make the world a better place.

The #IceBucketChallenge has overtaken North America the last few weeks. And I believe it is a powerful, fun way to bring attention to the devastating disease, ALS (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). You may have had your fill of ice bucket videos, but if you want to watch a couple, the following by a 26-year-old diagnosed with ALS and the one by Bill Gates are two ends of the continuum… Literally. And if you want a more literary trip to better understand the incredible toll the disease takes, read a previous New York Times best seller, Tuesdays With Morrie, which has been enjoyed by millions.

Recently, I was listening to a radio show interviewing critics of the challenge. The complaints ranged from the “silliness of the stunt” and the selfie focus, to the most oft sited concern that the attention to ALS would take away from contribution to other charities. Really? The reason I want to comment on negativity towards the viral #IceBucketChallenge is that it is representative of another “disease” I see all too often… SCARCITY. That’s when people like to diminish or contract versus celebrating and expanding. In the world of organizations, scarcity includes people who like to minimize the success or accomplishments of others for whatever reason. Cultures that are riddled with a scarcity mentality are prone to put more energy into resisting and attacking the success of others. It’s surprising how negatively effective they can be.

Character Moves:

  1. Embrace abundance as a way of thinking and acting (even though there can be underlying pull towards being cynical or critical). This doesn’t mean being naive or turning a blind eye to constructive criticism. However, the lean towards emphasizing the goodness of something successful or excellent most often leads us to a better place to build from. Regarding the ALS challenge, why not try and understand what caught the imagination of people versus criticizing the viral nature of this phenomenon?

Note: To date the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $79.7 million (and growing)… In comparison, Time Magazine reports that the group only raised $2.2 million during the same period in 2013.

Dumping ice water on scarcity in The Triangle,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Yeah, I’ve heard the criticisms too. I work with or have been around those who argue the #IceBucketChallenge is “self serving,” or even a “waste of water.” REALLY?  If you find it self-serving, don’t post your video to Facebook, just send your video to the person that nominated you. Also, check out my favorite by #43, G. W. Bush. BTW I think that millennials are the most active in this challenge for the right reasons to bring attention to ALS while also having fun. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

One Comment
  1. Rachel says:

    Nicely timed article Lorne. This is a topic that has been debated vigorously on Facebook, which is too bad since that negative energy could be used for positive momentum. I’ve shared your thoughts on Facebook and LinkedIn because I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with positive trends being born out of a little goofy fun and call to action from one friend to another. As for ALS taking away from other causes I think that is a fallacy born out of negativity from people who have their own reasons for not wanting to participate. Likely most of the people donating did not take away from their donation dollars going elsewhere in order to give to ALS, rather they also gave to ALS or perhaps never donate to any cause – making this a great introduction to giving. Having fun is a GOOD thing, giving is a GOOD thing, making the world a better place through personal connection is a GOOD thing.

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