Critiquing those who Critique the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Today at work, I saw the CEO of the bank I work for do the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." 

I take this as a strong cultural indicator that the challenge has reached its climax, and that within a few months, the challenge will be all but over.

The demise of this challenge will undoubtedly inspire some spin-off challenges that seek to emulate the social media phenomenon. I only hope with the winter months coming up, we don't take our clue from the movie, "A Christmas Story," and start sticking our tongues to frozen poles and video taping it because we received a #TripleDogDareYou hash-tag on Twitter.

I personally enjoyed and participated in the challenge.  Although I didn't give my money to ALS, instead, I  chose to give to another local charity that I already have a strong knowledge of, and find worthy of support.

Some people offered various social critiques of the challenge.

Some people found it simply silly; others refused to participate because they already make it a habit of being counter-cultural and going against the grain as a regular manner of life; others looked down their long noses at those participating in it, and dismissed them as being nothing but shallow and mindless lemmings who always get carried away in what the masses are doing; and yet others were people simply craving attention, and used the challenge as a chance to take a glorified "selfie."

Such criticisms, while they may have some validity to them, I think are a bit unfortunate, and really miss the bigger picture.

I think a lot of cultural critiques of this phenomenon have been made by people who have a tendency to over-think things.

Honestly, it reminds me of the Jewish leaders who used to slander Jesus because He performed miracles on a Sabbath day.  Crippled and blind people were healed miraculously right before their eyes.  Yet, instead of celebrating the miracle, the leaders of Jesus' day had the audacity to question if it was the moral thing to do!  After all, they were worried that He might have broken one of the Ten Commandments by choosing to do a good "work" on what was a commanded religious day of rest and worship.

Jesus was amazed at the callousness of such people in His day.  This callousness caused the leaders of His day to over-think the good thing they were seeing, and in my opinion, critics of the practice today are over-thinking the phenomenon that is happening in their own day.

Let us be careful to not become like the religious leaders of Jesus' day, who hardened their hearts to the good work that was being done right before their eyes.  Let us rather rejoice that something good is being done, and encourage such behavior in the future.

Seriously people, let's stop over-thinking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  If you are critiquing it, you are thinking too hard about it.

Receive the challenge for what it is:  a friendly "dare" that exists to inspire others to do something good.

Critique it no more than you would some kid selling lemonade on the side of the road in your neighborhood, or a Girl Scout selling cookies door-to-door. Stop to buy the lemonade.  Fork over the money and buy some cookies.  Take 5 minutes and use your phone to video tape yourself taking a nice wet icy dip, and cut somebody a check already!

Let's stop questioning if the people who are doing it are of the right mindset.  Instead of having a hard heart, let us simply rejoice over the fact that people are enthusiastically finding joy in challenging others to do a good deed, and help those in need.

Likewise, instead of using our intellectual powers to decry the Ice Bucket Challenge as somehow being morally suspect or bankrupt, let us soften our hearts and employ our minds in ways that inspire others to do good deeds.

Let's challenge as many people as we can to become givers instead of critics, and let us find creative ways to enrich those who are in much need.  Let us not be like the leaders of Jesus' day, who sat on the sidelines and ran their mouths, while Jesus reached out to heal those who He saw were in need.  Let us be people who seek to make a difference, and change the world around us.

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