Seeing the other side: The lovers and the haters of The Ice Bucket Challenge

The ChicagoNow blogger community has started a new thing called This Blogger Life, sort of like This American Life, but with blogging. Our community managers give us a theme and we can choose to write about it. Or not. Last week, the theme was Taking a Break, and since I was still healing from my appendix surgery and taking a break, I consider that my contribution, even if I didn’t write a blog about it. This week, the theme is Seeing the Other Side. Nikki like. I am always trying to see the other side of a story, an argument or an opinion. And so….here I go.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is all the rage and I think it’s awesome. Anything positive that brings awareness to a cause and laughter to the masses is good stuff. I also dig seeing the many bald heads that pop up all over the Internet during St. Baldrick’s head shaving season, which is really all year long, but amps up in March. Yesterday, my friend Pat wrote this on my Facebook wall…

I just completed the IBS Challenge (Irritable Bowel Syndrome for those of you who have no idea what that acronym stood for) and crapped my pants to help raise awareness for IBS. I call out – three friends, one being ME – to crap their pants to show their support. I know I can count on you.

I laughed so hard when I read it, I about crapped my pants. Seriously, how funny is my friend? I KNOW.

IBS is not very fun. I realize it’s not a chronic, progressive and terrible disease like ALS or cancer, but it still sucks. Anything that makes your body hurt, sucks, and that’s the truth! ALS is a special kind of hell, so I’m loving the Ice Bucket Challenge. Wouldn’t it be great if the medical community could find some answers? To find a way slow the progression of the disease until they can find a way to prevent it altogether? I KNOW.

But research costs money! And so, raising money for this cause is a very good thing. There are just so many good things about this movement and the way social media has played a part in spreading the word and sharing the fun. You can’t go anywhere on social media or digital media without seeing videos and stories about it. As a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge, millions of dollars have been raised ALS research.

Many people are like me, loving the positive way this is connecting people. Ah, but there are the naysayers, the people who believe it’s stupid and blah, blah, blah, and they are making their opinions known too. There are many reasons the chronic pessimists have come out in droves to complain and nit pick, because as we all know, there will always be these people, the ones who look for the negative, the doubters, the perfect spot to poop all over the party.

I don’t get it, yet I do.

Negative thinking is a habit that gets stronger if it’s fed, and social media provides an endless source of chow for negative thoughts. People who have a penchant for party pooping, those who just cannot help but see things in an unfavorable light truly struggle with social media. It makes me sad. It also makes me glad that I don’t see their side. Yes, the theme this week is seeing the other side, and even though I understand the process of negative thinking and how strong the habit and tendency truly is, I can’t see the other side this time. I can’t see the opinions and arguments, even if they are somewhat valid, and that’s because I can’t see past the source of them, which is the predilection for negative thinking and party pooping.

I just can’t see the purpose. I just can’t see why anyone, even the life long negative thinkers who make it their mission in life to be offended and personally affected by everything and anything, couldn’t resist being shitty about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Will I try to see the other side? Give other opinions a chance? Take the time to read about WHY others think the Ice Bucket Challenge is stupid, wrong, useless or a waste of time? No thank you. I will not. I’d do the pants crapping challenge if it raised money for IBS treatments and research, but I’m not in the mood to have my metaphorical pants crapped in and party pooped on, no matter what valid points may be made.

Because in my opinion, there aren’t any.

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

Mitch Ablom – Tuesdays with Morrie

Morrie Schwartz - December 20, 1916 - November 4, 1995

Morrie Schwartz – December 20, 1916 – November 4, 1995

ALS Association Website
St. Baldrick’s Website

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