Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Beyond The Ice Bucket Challenge

By now if you haven't heard of the unique and successful fundraising ice bucket challenge to support ALS research you must have been out of the solar system or something. Millions love it and a good less number find credible reasons to say no or give elsewhere. I can't really add to the dialogue on either side so I won't.

However, I do think it would be shortsighted and a clear missing of a powerful opportunity if parents, teachers, coaches and other leaders allow this to merely be their feel-good deed for this month, year or decade.

In other words, what will be happening, if anything, after this challenge runs out of gas?

I think we have a huge chance to use this effort to explain, especially to our children, that serving, giving and sacrificing are where real life is. Maybe it could sink it a bit more deeply that all the fun, accolades, games, accomplishments and victories really don't compare that much to truly helping someone else.

Maybe true caring could become more the norm than the exception.

Because my fear is that too many will simply go back to living a life focused on self, me, my and ours. That many young people will think, "Yes, that was a cool way to raise money and I'm glad a lot of people were helped, but I'm headed back to my sports team, computer and video games. Catch me later."

What if the millions involved decided that they would soon find another way to help others, one that lasted a bit longer and required more involvement, investment and sacrifice?  I think for that to happen adults, especially parents, are going to have to become intentional about making serving more the norm than taking, getting and enjoying just for our own pleasure.

What will that look like?  I don't know. Every person and family are unique. Come up with your own strategy but do something to make and keep caring for others a true family value. Find an organization, family or cause that you will give to regularly.

Build relationships with real people who are invested or involved in this same cause.

If you do, then you'll keep the value of serving and caring warm, even hot, at your house and in our culture and not on ice for another time.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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