‘Ice Bucket’ has its challenges

James Macias, Reporter

ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. This is a debilitating disorder, which I believe deserves as much attention as possible.

That having been said, I feel the current ice bucket challenge that has been sweeping the nation is embarrassing and un-American. Charity work is not meant to be a method for social climbing. On the note of embarrassment, let me direct you to search failed ice bucket challenges on YouTube.

There you will find an unbelievable number of people screwing up the challenge and making a mockery of the whole idea.

Charity work is meant to be a method for helping one’s fellow man, an avenue through which one can help even the scales of justice so to speak. As such, we do not expect to be recognized for our efforts because they are seen as the least that a person in the right mind can do.

There are numerous reasons why one should be humble about giving to charity, but let me give you the most obvious one: sincerity.

Superheroes are fictitious do-gooders who embody the ideal of how one should go about helping the less fortunate and they wear masks protecting their anonymity and thereby symbolically emphasizing their sincerity.

One does not simply shout to the four corners about one’s kindness. Not if he expects anyone to take him seriously.

Kindness and generosity are the kinds of virtues that are only valid when independently recognized by one’s peers. I think the participants in this challenge should be ashamed of themselves. They have made a novelty out of their philanthropy for one, which will wear off as they all do and quickly fade away leaving a vacuum that no one will bother to fill.

If I would have been challenged, I would have refused to participate and privately given as much as I could afford, which I think is the proper behavior for anyone who is in a position to give.

Those who are pursuing their fifteen minutes of fame should look to other avenues to find that which they seek.

Furthermore, the ALS Association has been very closed-mouthed about what exactly they will be doing with the proceeds from the challenge, citing the unexpected nature of the sudden nationwide craze for their lack of preparedness.

This makes me question if any of the funds received will be used for anything more interesting than paying their employees and making their executives feel like they are indeed well paid executives.

I am sure that these funds will be well spent in the long run but ALSA’s lack of comment on the subject makes it impossible to know and therefore engenders doubt.

As a non-profit organization, an accounting of the funds they take in is one of their primary expectations. Therefore, why should they be unable to do so at this time?

The fact that the door has been left open for me to ask such questions and pose these thoughts disturbs me greatly.

I will say that while I find it reprehensible that so many celebrities have made five more minutes of fame using the ALS ice bucket challenge, I am pleased that ALSA has gotten some well-deserved attention.