iwood27 said: Will you do the ALS ice bucket challenge?
Probably not, partly because I am still recovering from meningitis and so the thought of doing anything out of bed is a bit overwhelming, but also for other reasons. I worry this makes me a totally humorless party pooper, but…
ALS is a terrible disease and there isn’t enough research money devoted to it. Raising money for ALS research is important, and while some people complain that the whole ice bucket challenge thing is mere slacktivism, the ALS Association has raised millions of dollars it otherwise wouldn’t have raised. And that’s great. This has been an extremely successful campaign, and I think it’s wonderful.
That said, I have mixed feelings about tying fundraising (or awareness campaigns) to stuff like the ice bucket challenge. Here’s the question: Why are we raising money for ALS instead of raising money for pediatric cancer research or food aid or for domestic violence shelters?
I feel like the answer to that question ought to be, “We’re raising money for ALS because ALS research is underfunded and can benefit from these resources,” not, “We’re raising money for ALS because the ice bucket challenge is a thing on the Internet right now.” If our philanthropy is dictated only by what happens to bubble up to the surface of the Internet’s consciousness, we’re not making careful choices about how to distribute our limited resources.
And when it comes to charity, everyone has limited resources. Whether you give $5 or $5,000,000 a year to charities, there will always be good causes you cannot fund. So you need a very good answer to the question, “Why did you donate to X and Y?” because there will always be a Z—a very worthy Z—to which you did not donate.
This is not meant in any way to diss those who’ve participated in the ice bucket challenge: it’s an important cause and it has been tremendously successful. And I certainly don’t want to strip the joy of giving and sharing from charity. Sarah and I are just focused on trying to make sure our giving is driven by need and the opportunity to create lasting change.
EDIT: Tumblr user mockmewithgrace points out that it isn’t just a question of donating to X over Z; campaigns like the ice bucket challenge raise the total amount of money donated to charity; i.e., money that would otherwise be spent on beer instead gets donated to ALS research. This is a key point that I failed to consider above; I wrongly imagined charity as a kind of zero-sum game. And insofar as campaigns like this increase the total amount given to charity, they are I think unqualified successes.
I’m no teenage girl, but I love John Green.
Another thing I genuinely love about Hamlet is Fortinbras walking in at the end like “WTF happened here why is everyone dead” It’s like the Shakespeare version of
"If you ain’t got a buncha haters then you ain’t doin you!"-CG (Letter Home Pt. 2)
Me being me.
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heav’n with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising,
From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Staring at the screen
Scrolling down my feed
My stare distant
Glancing to the side,
I see your name.
The phone icon means
You’re not there. Damn.
Unreachable as the moon
To the sea.
I wait for you.
The Green light comes on.
Here’s my chance.
I stare. Silent.
I reach my hand…