You can hear the trademark noises everywhere. From suburban gardens to Facebook news feeds.
The splashes. The shrieks. The howls of laughter. (Usually in that order.)
I'm guessing that most people who read this post will be familiar with the ice bucket challenge for charity. Some of you may have subjected yourself to a soaking, others may have paid out a bit more to avoid the experience. Others still may be choosing to completely avoid social media in a bid to side-swerve a nomination.
As with any trend that catches on, the ice bucket challenge has attracted some controversy. It seems possible that, in a tiny percentage of cases, things may have gone horribly and tragically wrong. There has also been a significant backlash against some charities for piggy-backing on someone else's idea.
I'm not going to explore these issues any further in this post. I simply don't feel that I have the requisite background knowledge or analytical writing skills to do so. What's more, this is a very peaceful little blog and I'd love to keep it that way.
Instead, I'm going to write about my own average 'take' on the ice bucket challenge and why I think it's been an overwhelmingly positive thing.
There are many days that I feel we simply don't laugh enough. This challenge has a fun element to it. Yes, we're laughing at our friends' and relatives' expense but not in a cruel way. You can actually hear people guffawing at their laptops as they check out the latest drenchings during their lunch hour.
In my last post 'Back to School...But What About The Parents?', I touched on the subject of comfort zones. I'm guessing that getting a bucket of ice cold water tipped over you isn't top of anyone's list of new things to try. And yet...Having been through the experience, there's something strangely exhilarating about gritting your teeth and doing something that you're dreading. Particularly when it's for the greater good.
Siblings throughout the land have bonded as they've teamed up to gleefully hunt down the largest possible receptacles to fill with icy water for their long-suffering parents. My son was desolate when he realised that, having emptied his largest Lego box, there were two small holes in the bottom rendering it obsolete for ice bucket purposes. No prizes for guessing who his lucky victim was.
Mums and dads have gained new respect in their kids' eyes for doing something fun and, let's face it, something that's completely irrational and ridiculous. Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to be sensible 100% of the time.
Don't worry, I've saved the best until last. By the time you read this, the challenge may well have peaked but it's safe to bet that millions have been raised for worthy causes. It will be a huge bonus if awareness levels receive a boost too. Because in among the splashes, shrieks and laughter, we all need to take a moment to remember those who are less healthy and happy than ourselves.
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