1. People who think that the ice bucket challenge is stupid / wastes water / serves only the ego of the dumper / doesn't directly contribute to finding a cure / whatever.
2. People who don't 'get' the Starbucks campaigns where drive-thru customers pay it forward to others, sometimes for hours and hours.
If you fall into one of those categories, please keep reading. Otherwise, you are welcome to scroll on.
I'm not going to bore you with facts about how much awareness / money was raised for ALS in 2014 vs 2013 to attempt to explain why that campaign worked. I am also not going to quote economists to explain why your Starbucks kindness didn't really amount to anything, as Fast Company magazine did the other day.
Instead, I'd ask you to consider that there are other currencies ... more important currencies ... than money.
I truly have no issue with people who dumped ice but didn't donate. I don't care if their check was $1000, $100, $1, or there was no check. Because for one bucket and that one video, that person felt like they were doing good. They were helping. If they didn't write a check or even know what ALS was, they still spread some good. They felt, for a few seconds, like they were contributing. Maybe they can't afford to open their wallet. Maybe they support other causes. Maybe they don't care to learn about ALS. But maybe the person they tagged then tagged someone else who tagged someone else who tagged a woman who wrote a $5000 check. Or who just learned her husband has ALS. Or who simply laughed at the noise you made when the water ran down your back.
Or maybe none of those things happened. Maybe they just dumped a bucket of water on their head and felt good about it.
Over 300 people paid it forward in a Starbucks line last week. Some of those people spent more than they would have if they simply bought their own coffee, some spent less. In the end, financially, the only true, big 'winner' was the last person in line. The one who decided NOT to pay it forward. But before that happened, over 300 people went to their office / school / home / wherever and told their friends that they were a part of something kind. Something big. Something spontaneous and fun and positive. Who knows how many random acts of pay it forward were inspired by that? Maybe someone in that line was coming home from a tough doctors appointment or headed to a vital job interview. And for a minute, in that line, they forgot about the stress and anxiety and instead felt good and positive and happy. How many phone calls or text messages occurred right after someone got, then gave, coffee in that line? Messages of positivity, versus a traffic sucks / Starbucks was busy / I hate my outfit contact.
More positive ions out into the world.
Doesn't laughter and kindness and support have worth as well? It's not all about the checkbook.
Positive energy is so valuable, so easy to find and share, but sometimes hard to see. Don't shut it down when it's right in front of you. And do what you can to put it out there as often as possible. And when you encounter it, if your first instinct is to combat it, think again.
Cause in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Or something like that.
What are your thoughts? How can you pay-it-forward and make a positive impact on the world today?