There was a great debate over dinner in the Wane house last night. My sister Charlotte has been nominated for the #IceBucketChallenge by a friend. Now, while Charlotte may be one of those annoying people who is always warm (regardless of the weather) she’s not too keen on being covered with ice water.
Admittedly, that’s rather the point. No one wants to be drenched in freezing water but it’s all for a good cause, right? Well, yes. There’s no doubt that the challenge is raising awareness and generating funds for Motor Neuron Disease (MND) a condition that is relatively unknown in comparison to, for example, breast cancer, which through the #nomakeupselfie was the beneficiary of the other social media driven funding craze of 2014.
Though while I congratulate everyone who’s taken part and donated I’m worried the challenge is also causing huge amounts of unnecessary pressure.
The important part is the donation and your awareness of the cause, not the video of you gasping and squealing in shock
For example, Willie Rennie MSP tweeted that he declined to the challenge owning to a “jiggered” back but had nevertheless donated to MND Scotland. His tweet was somewhat inevitably met with the following reply: “Aye, it’s called no back bone.”
Now this may well be this individual’s comment on Liberal Democrat politics rather than Willie Rennie’s decision not to be drenched but it highlights exactly what concerns my sister. Rather than being congratulated for donating, Mr Rennie was effectively been called a coward for not dowsing himself.
Hasn’t this missed the point? The important part is the donation and your awareness of the cause, not the video of you gasping and squealing in shock as icy water runs down your back.
Moreover, at dinner a friend (and Fringe-going bed scrounger) said that she donates, of her own volition, to various charities regularly through monthly direct debits and would feel somewhat aggrieved if, just because someone on Facebook challenged her, she was now socially obligated to donate to a certain cause.
Surely it’s better to donate to organisations and causes that we believe in and have a connection with rather than having a quick ice shower and giving £5 to a cause you may never think to donate to again.
Yes I’m pleased that MND is being recognised and funds are being raised but as I type I’m waiting nervously to see if I’m going to be nominated because, if I am chosen, I’m concerned about the reaction to my stance. I will not for a number of reasons (some health-related) have icy water thrown over myself. Call me cowardly if you like. Why should I do something I do not want to do just because you’ve tagged me on Facebookand then nag me about it? How does that help anyone with MND?