Ice bucket mania…..

I’m not one for stunts.  That’s my take on the whole ice bucket thing.  Donate, yes … do a stunt?  Not necessarily.  I will say this, too — it has brought awareness about ALS to a new level of conversation.  Thanks to those who are willing to do this… but wait, there’s more.

But, certain comments and attitudes I’ve seen bother me – and one particularly caught my attention.  A gentleman, who is a pastor or minister of some sort, wrote an extremely long piece about how he has all kinds of compassion for ALS patients and all that, but from what he knows, since the ALS foundation does stem cell research, he cannot do the ICE BUCKET thing and give money to an organization that does such a thing, since his church takes the stand that embryonic stem cell work is unfavorable.

Well, okay, I get that.   Yet, it seems to me that this kind of attitude throws out the baby with the bath water.  Look at all the organizations out there that do some sort of good that are derided for some of their efforts… and granted, some of those acts are truly questionable, but yet, do we have to INSIST that it’s all or nothing?

To the best of my knowledge, the ALS foundation does more than stem cell research.  They do other kinds of research.  they are there for ALS victims.  Shouldn’t that count for something?

And we could make a list.  YMCA and the Boy Scouts have had their politically incorrect aspects… but yet, a good many of the things those groups address are desirable.  The Girl Scouts have been taken to task for the nutritional lack of their cookies.  As much as the liberals berate the NRA, they offer gun safety training.   AARP is reviled a bit for its liberal leanings.

And let’s not ignore the churches.  This sect is considered goofy for believing this, that one causes wars, this one is too liberal, that one is too conservative…. and of some of them can’t even get along within their own system.  Churches, though, are also home to soup kitchens, some provide shelters for the homeless — and clothing drives and Christmas basket drives …

Which brings me back to my original beef… the gentleman who wouldn’t do the ice bucket challenge because the ALS foundation does stem cell research… and has me ask some questions:

Isn’t it a bit nuts to expect that an organization … ANY organization…. would share the exact values as a person?

Isn’t  it a bit nuts to ignore the good of any group … or any PERSON for that matter … just because they have some ideas that we find ‘wrong’?

Isn’t it rather, therefore, rather selfish to keep your time, talents and money to yourself just because a group isn’t 100 percent in agreement with your own values?

And shouldn’t we (and yes, I include myself in this one) all be a bit ashamed of such behavior?


On a more personal note, I wish to thank all those who presented my home town with the Lakes Area Music Festival this year …its sixth year.  We saw an opera, full orchestra concerts, chamber music, art songs, and so much more.  Live music provided by professionals … such as a good 17 from the Minnesota Orchestra, from Julliard and Eastman schools of music, from the Colorado Symphony …and so much more…

And these concerts were FREE…. go to a big city and you’d pay fifty bucks or more for such performances…and thanks to the hard work of over 200 volunteers and the dreams of Scott Lykins and Taylor Ward and others, and we get this fine program…  There will be some more festivals to come – and I can hardly wait.