A few weeks ago, my husband and I were nominated by DJ JJ of RedFM to take up the ALS Ice bucket challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media about two months ago and became a ‘pop culture phenomenon’, particularly in the United States. Some refer it to “the Harlem Shake of the Summer”.
|Screenshot of the IkingAzmis accepting JJ's Ice Bucket Challenge|
I think the whole idea is brilliant.
Prior to the challenge, I never knew what ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) was. Thanks to the efforts of numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes and everyday Americans posting videos of themselves online and on TV participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, public awareness and charitable donations to ALS charities have soared.
So wait a minute. Why are some folks condemning it and calling it stupid stunt then?
There are a number of criticisms hurled – from it being accused as being “self-congratulatory”, to “cannibalizing” potential donations that otherwise “would have gone to other charities instead”. Actress Pamela Anderson refused to take part “because of the use of animal experimentation in ALS research”. Others warned about the adverse health effects on participants and injuries occurred after taking the challenge. I know some acquaintances of mine condemning the wastage of water in this challenge.
"Think about those in Africa who have no water", they write.
Now, all I can say to that is this.
In a previous article, I mentioned how I may not be “a model Muslim”, but I do take heart in the Islamic view that sincerity in all intention, is the foundation of all actions.
When I read about the challenge, I learnt more about ALS and the reason why this fund raising was so important. I accepted the challenge and donated too (even though the rules are: if you don’t accept the challenge within the stipulated 24 hours, you need to donate to an ALS fund. There are some, however, who prefer to donate to other charitable causes they believe in).
I’d rather encourage goodness and kindness, than to constantly be on the look out for flaws and criticism. Call me naïve but that’s the path I choose to walk right now. I accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge and found out more about an illness that I knew NOTHING about up till the videos became viral.
Because of it, I have a whole new perspective of SuperMokh: The Musical’s second installation. I admit, I am more curious to know more about the life of our legendary sportsman now, after finding out he too suffered from ALS.
I donated even though I took on the icy challenge because I want to and had some spare. How they spend the funds as questioned? I pray they do it honorably. The same applies for all the other charity homes and NGOs to whom our donations goes to.
This goes the same for an initiative I’ve agreed to go onboard with called #MYKindDeeds. It’s basically an Instagram initiative by Malaysia.My, where they are encouraging Malaysians to posts pictures or videos of themselves performing a Kind deed on instagram. The most creative deeds will be doubled by the team from Malaysia.My.
|#MYKindDeeds: An initiative by malaysia.my from August till Sept 15th 2014. It's an Instagram campaign encouraging Msians to perform a kind deed and they will double the most creative act of kindness.|
Well, within hours, some followers on my instagram started questioning the initiative saying that doing good needs to be done discreetly. “tak payah menunjuk-nunjuk” (you don’t need to show off). Admittedly, this shook me up a bit; but I decided I was not going to be swayed by a few comments.
I will continue to support @malaysiamy’s campaign of spreading kindness and compassion because I truly believe in the niat of the cause. Our nation has been through a tough year and we need to start having faith and hope again. I’ve been pushing for unity amongst Malaysians and I strongly believe the act of compassion and kindness is the basics of building a stronger, unified front.
We need to learn to love and respect one another again.
“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” – Datuk Masidi Manjun.
That's right. I have decided I will not entertain cynicism nor excessive criticism. Life is too precious.
Daphne applauds The Star’s Voices of Moderation campaign. As a mother of two, she strongly believes that we need to educate ourselves and our family on the skills of managing diversity. This has to start from home with the very basics of being respectful and kind, considerate and compassionate. Follow her rants over IG: daphneiking and Twitter: daphCLPT.