The Ice Bucket Challenge has come and gone. This was an AMAZING way to raise awareness for the horribleness that is ALS. I’ve never been personally touched by this disease, but my heart aches for those families who have and are currently going through it. And the sufferers. I’m so very sorry. Such a very debilitating problem that needs to be solved. Prior to the challenge I didn’t realize just how many people are dealt this tragic card. Honestly? I only knew of TWO people and one wasn’t even technically in my circle. I knew about Lou Gehrig, because I’ve seen the movie about his life too many times to count. (My dad had it taped on VHS from the television and would constantly have us watch it in the 1980′s.) Then as a teenager I had an acquaintance who’s father died of the disease. But even then I associated it with the baseball player. That’s all I knew. I’m so grateful to have learned about ALS over the last month and have it placed in the forefront of my mind. I hope that the momentum of awareness continues.
Now for my observations on the challenge itself… No one challenged me to participate. Not a soul. I started to develop a complex with each passing day. A paranoia of sorts. Wondering when would be MY fateful day. The day I would be dumping a bucket of ice cold water on my head. I shiver at the thought. Only it never happened. Not once. Not a single challenge came across to me on the Facebook. Meaning that I was unable to challenge another. The devastation of not being able to participate. I have 1,063 “friends” on Facebook. As the weeks went by I watched many of them participating in the challenge. They created these funny videos. I laughed. They donated. I applauded. All the while plotting out what I would do in my own video. But my chance never came. Was I a total after thought? Not worthy of the challenge? My insecurities started to tug from a deep place. Everyone was leaving me behind. How was I to catch up with the rest? Get in the game? I was almost to the point of making my own video that said something like, “No one challenged me, so I’ve elected to challenge myself. So there.” and then over my head with the bucket. Almost. Why didn’t I? There’s no reason why I couldn’t have. Maybe the fear of desperation? At any rate I missed my chance to be a part of something big. Something life changing for someone else. I should have just participated and not waited for someone to send out my challenge. For that I will forever be wondering, “What if?”
That all being said, I’ve decided to put myself out there this month. The month of September 2014. My family started a tradition just last year of participating in the Light the Night walk here in St. Louis. My mom has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We have a team. We will be walking the night of September 27th. So here’s my challenge to you… I’m not going to challenge any dumping of ice buckets. That would be riding on the coattails of another great cause. So my challenge has nothing to do with ice buckets.
All that I ask is that you do something dandy for someone else.
We live in a dandy world and there’s no reason why we can’t make sure that it keeps being dandy. Or make it even more dandy. The dandiness you provide another can be simple. You can simply smile at someone who looks like they need one. You know. That haggard looking mother who is struggling to get through the grocery store with her young children? Give her the thumbs up. Tell her it’s going to be okay. The janitor at your kid’s school? When you see him or her while in the hallway after PTO lets out… Smile and say thank you for all that they do. How about that person needing to change lanes on the roadway? Let them in front of you and don’t be angry about it. I guarantee that by doing so you will only arrive to your destination about five seconds later than you originally expected. It can even be Facebook related. Someone posts something that you don’t necessarily agree with. Do you comment knowing full well that it could cause an argument? Or knowing that it’s not the most dandy way in which you should respond? Then don’t. Just stop and think before you act. If it’s something that could lead down the road less dandy then don’t go down that road. Now if it’s something dandy then act away! :)
I’m not going to put a donation requirement on this challenge, but if you so desire… Please donate just $1 directly to our team fundraising page on the LLS website: Walking For Gran. I know that all of our efforts (both big and small) will be dandy!