Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge worth it?

I am sure you’ve come across at least one video where someone dumps a bucket of ice on his/her head. The rule is that you dump an ice bucket, and challenge 3 people to do the same within 24 hours, otherwise they’d donate 100$ to the ALS Association.

The motivation is to raise awareness about ALS. Many celebrities took the challenge and donated as well to ALS research, which is usually not given a high concern because it is not a very common disease. So imagine, a cure could be out there already, but hasn’t been discovered due to a lack in resources in this research area.

I’ve seen criticism about the whole thing. You are dumping clean water on your head for “fun”, while larger numbers of people in the world suffer from drought and die because of lack of clean water.

But let’s take a moment to evaluate the whole thing now. How many more people in the world know about ALS now thanks to this initiative? The ALS Association received as much as 41.8 million dollars in less than a month, which is more than double the donations they got in a whole year!

So is it worth it? Yes indeed it is!

Sure there are always higher priority things, I would have loved to see a creative initiative like that to collect donations for Gaza, for the famines and other diseases as well. But there’s an important point here.. The fact that there are more serious or important causes that are worthy of concern, DOES NOT undermine the concerns about lower priority causes!

I’ve heard similar comments about animal care. Things like: “how could you care about animals while your own species are dying out of thirst or hunger”. Yes! You should care about all of that, but no! Caring about animals is also a noble thing, and eventually someone should be doing it!

Just imagine that you are making a career choice: you could be a medical doctor that can help save people’s lives, or you could be a software engineer that can make people’s lives more productive and entertaining. For sure it’s more important to have doctors, for sure we need to save people’s lives. Yet, it doesn’t mean that all of us have to be doctors! We still need other professions, and you should choose the things/professions/causes that interest you the most, to eventually be able to make big contributions through it.

Everyone should examine how to contribute to the world: find causes that they believe in, and are willing to contribute to. Once you find that, you’ll be able to give more than anyone else. Believe me, that’s better than to sit back and say: “these guys are ridiculous, why don’t they do anything for famine!”.. well.. I ask you, why don’t YOU do anything for famine?