by Carrie Harmony
While there are so many political differences dividing our nation and so many conflicts around the world, it is hard to keep from losing hope in leadership on either side of the aisle. However, I was encouraged last week when I saw one of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenges take place.
Former President George W. Bush challenged his “friend,” former President Bill Clinton, to take the challenge. The cold water dumped on these challengers wasn’t half as refreshing as it was seeing former political opponents call one another “friend.”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to participate or to watch one of these challenges on Facebook, visit the website at www.alsa.org. By challenging friends and family members to dump a bucket of ice and water over their heads and donate, the ALS Association has been able to raise $88.5 million. The slogan for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is “Take the challenge, donate and help us create a world without ALS!”
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. According to the association’s website, it affects 30,000 Americans between the ages of 40 and 70 at any given time. At this time, there is no cure. These two former presidents, without a doubt, have had their differences, but they have been able to transcend their politics for something more expansive, something more important – the suffering of others.
One thing we can count on – we are not always going to see eye-to-eye in politics and religion. However, I think that we could all agree that a world without ALS would be pretty awesome. This presidential duo has been able to set aside their politics to focus on something that will help raise funds to help ease the suffering of patients and families affected by ALS. Their friendship, coupled with their desire to spread a message of awareness and compassion, has been a beautiful example for all of us. So, when you are feeling frustrated with Washington or the state of the world in general, you could always cool off with a nice bucket of water over the head. Oh, and don’t forget to pull in a couple of your buddies.