What is ALS and the ice bucket challenge
We’ve seen a bunch of videos with all kinds of celebrities pouring ice buckets on them to raise awareness on ALS. I had to search what it was all about as I had no idea what ALS meant. I mean, you do see some of those people doing crazy stuff from time to time (the first video I saw of a celebrity taking this challenge was Lady Gaga) but honestly it was the first time that I saw so many celebrities doing this.
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and it is a neuro-degenerative disease. People affected by it progressively lose their ability to move until they become completely paralyzed. There is so far no cure and the life expectancy once a person has been diagnosed on average is about 5 years.
The list of celebrities taking the challenge is quite long: Novak Djokovic, Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg, Ben Affleck (which is one of the funniest I saw), Justin Timberlake, Hugh Jackman, are just a few of them.
- The challenge rules are not clear. Some people said you either pour an ice bucket on yourself or donate to the cause. Quite a few, like Ben Affleck, took the shower and said he will donate. Why not just encouraging donations?
- The challenge raises awareness on ALS but at the expense of a far greater issue: water scarcity. I have no doubt that ALS is a horrible disease and I am extremely grateful that so many high-profile individuals are trying to make a difference; nevertheless they are also encouraging others to waste life’s most precious liquid.
I admit, it would be quite funny to see Barack Obama (nominated by Justin Bieber) or Vladimir Putin (challenged by Vin Diesel) pouring on themselves a big bucket of ice (or water as most of them did) but water is scarce and while some people are having fun wasting it with no remorse others have barely access to it.
I would rather see all these people finding other ways to catch our attention, inspire us, lead us, and unite us on ALS and other pressing matters. Lets face it, most of the people would do whatever their idols asked them to do. There is no need to promote more waste but promoting compassion and care for others is always welcome.
Despite my admiration and respect to some of the celebrities participating on the challenge, so far the only one that made me take my hat off was Charlie Sheen: