I have been nominated to do the Ice Bucket Challenge.
In preparation for this, I have filled a bucket with ice and water ... and the beer is cooling nicely.
I will drink the beer, and then replace it with some more. I have no intention of pouring the contents of the bucket over my head.
And before you shout: "But it is for Charity, where is your generosity of spirit?", I should say that I already make regular donations to 2 Charities. And I don't have to get wet or shiver to achieve this.
I understand that any charity must do all it can to generate donations. The popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge has no doubt seen a rise in the in the coffers of Charities such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association, Motor Neurone Disease Association, MacMillan Cancer, WaterAid. But to me, it now feels like an Internet version of the over-zealous, in-your-face Chuggers you see in High Streets. Almost a case of "Donate or else".
You get nominated, and you do the deed, and you post the video evidence on Facebook like some Badge Of Honour saying "Look at me, I've done something for Charity" (the cynic in me says that sometimes they may even remember to send their donation as well).
Well, is that what giving to Charity is about? Making some gesture so your friends and peers can see you for the soft-hearted philanthropist you are.
Or is it just the opportunity to participate in the worlds biggest Chain Letter?
Of course, if you say "No" then you will be accused of cold-heartedness, or simply being a wimp. Well, bring on the cavalcade of pointing and accusing.
It's not so much that I am refusing to do the Challenge (which I suppose I am), more that I am refusing to tell the world whether I have donated to Charity (I know the answer to that question, you will have to decide for yourself).
In summary, Charity is important. In many cases your chosen Charity will have a personal resonance. If we are in a position of relative comfort and can spare time, money, goods or whatever to support that chosen Charity, then we should all do so without a moments hesitation.
There shouldn't be some reward or mutual back-slapping for doing so, merely the personal satisfaction that you have "done your bit" and helped those less fortunate than yourself.
The last part of the Challenge (post-drenching) is to nominate 3 further people from your family and close friends to so the same.
I, therefore, nominate everyone who reads this to give to a Charity of your choice - and then not tell anyone.