ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

For job recruiters or hiring managers, this might turn out to be a valuable test for detecting cynical attitudes from potential hires. Simply ask each person what he or she thinks of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Since the Ice Bucket Challenge trend has gone viral within the last week, there’s been no shortage of those opining against the very act. These individuals believe we should just donate to such worthy causes without having to pour ice water over ourselves and share it online for all the world to see. Their common argument is that many of those participating will either follow-through with either a small donation or nothing at all. In addition, the stunt itself is simply driven by ego and narcissism.

While I can’t dispute the validity of such notions, I will instead respond with, so what!?

Slate’s Will Oremus makes the following argument:

Remember, the way the challenge is set up, the ice-drenching is the alternative to contributing actual money. Some of the people issuing the challenges have tweaked the rules by asking people to contribute $10 even if they do soak themselves. Even so, a lot of the participants are probably spending more money on bagged ice than on ALS research.

The fact that the Ice Bucket Challenge trend has generated a steep surge in donations towards ALS research is a great accomplishment! While the long-term awareness and concern for ALS is unlikely to change significantly, the fact that so much money has been generated at this point is a positive. Even if the stunt of pouring ice water over your head is somewhat hokey and possibly driven by ego and narcissism, what harm has it caused?

Asides from one’s potential tolerance for annoyance, none.

Let’s also think about the amount of money raised by those who have donated after passing on the challenge itself, such as Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barrack Obama.

Let’s assume that the majority of such prominent individuals do indeed follow through on their donation. How likely were they to have donated towards ALS research if the Ice Bucket fad had not existed?

While it would be nice if everyone simply donated to such worthy causes without having to endear themselves, that isn’t how society generally functions. While there’s little that we can do to change that, it’s nice that in the short-term, a lot of attention and money is being generated to at least one worthy cause.

To be so oblivious to the good that has resulted thus far while also knocking those who have dumped ice water onto themselves, requires quite the cynical mindset.

Not exactly the type of person I’d care to work with all day.

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