Non-trigger-warning: I don’t think people are better or worse because they choose to participate or not participate in a charity effort.
Slightly more than a week ago my cousin – Max – challenged me to do the ALS #IceBucketChallenge to strike out ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease.) This wasn’t the first I had heard of the viral effort. The first was closer to three months ago and I had no idea what the person was talking about when I came across his video on The Facebook.
Apparently, the original idea was to donate $100 or pour a bucket of ice over your head and nominate at least 3 other people. Ideally, at least one of those three people would opt to donate money. So yeah, maybe pouring ice on your head instead of donating is a little “easy,” but it does still potentially leave a trail to someone else making a monetary impact.
I did both: donate and dump ice water on myself.
This isn’t actually my point. The reason I bring this up at all is that as soon as it went viral, a shitton of people got all aside with toes about it. The amount of “why would you do this, you’re so stupid and just being part of a bandwagon” comments I’ve received and have seen others receive is just appalling.
That said, I also think it’s pathetic that there ARE people who don’t even know what the #IceBucketChallenge is or what it is for who just dump ice water on their heads because it’s viral and someone told them to. It’s important to know what you’re supporting (monetarily and/or virally.) Google it at the very least, okay? There, now you learned something. All better!
**Special note: you may not have any negative people replying to your video or posts on The Facebook. I’m very happy about this for you. Very.**
There are thousands upon thousands of charities out there. Some big. Some small. Some national. Some local.
Just because I chose 5 specific charities to donate to this year…
…in no way shape or form
…negates the 5 charities you choose to support.
Every person has been impacted by something in their lives. Some people have been impacted by emotional disorders; others by ovarian cancer. Some have been impacted by both. Some lucky people – Nothing.
Who are you to tell them not to care about those causes?
Who are you to tell them where they should donate?
Who are you to tell them they’re doing something wrong??
It’s incredible how cruel people are; how thoughtless; how self-centered and involved.
Whether or not you’ve been nominated to do the #IceBucketChallenge, donated, donate to anything, volunteer to a group or a community effort, that’s your decision and your choice to make.
Remember when I wrote about the guy who thought that my The Twitter post about running and donating to Autism Speaks simultaneously was a invitation to opine about why the charity sucks and is stupid and shouldn’t be given any money?
I’ll remember that forever.
Because I didn’t ask. I did something I wanted to do because it was important to me for reasons that no one else needs to understand. But he couldn’t just let me do what made me happy. It’s not like my money was ever going to go to his favorite charity, so what did he gain?
And what do negative people gain from telling people NOT to dump ice on their heads?
Like, if you don’t think it’s a good thing to do…just… don’t do it.
If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married
If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one
If you don’t like a charity, don’t donate to it
Yes, I’m aware that those are extreme comparisons.
The point is peoples choices are theirs and theirs alone.
So leave them in their choices. (My mom had this written on a post-it attached to her Rolodex cover for as long as I can remember. I wish more people could believe this sentiment.)
If you’re so unhappy with my choices, you can feel free to choose to not involve yourself in my life choice. I doubt I’ll miss you much. You can pray for me, and you can worry about my eternal damnation, but you cannot change me… so accept me…
…or leave me.
You do you, bro. I’ma be over here doin’ me.
Have you faced criticism for something you did to better someone else’s life? What’s the meanest thing someone has said or done in response to a personal choice of yours that didn’t impact them at all??