I love the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge and am proud to say that I have dumped freezing cold water over my head and made a donation (YouTube.com), as have dozens of my family and friends. Of course, I love it for how effectively it has sparked a dialog about a horrific disease and raised an unprecedented amount of money. But, I also love it because of what it says about people – they are willing and able to make a difference.
I have said for a long time that I believe most people want to get involved in helping others, but they often don’t know how to get started. The beauty of the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge is that it lets people know exactly what they can do and makes it easy to do it. And, thanks to social media and some very entertaining bucket dumps, the world became engaged and inspired to act selflessly in an effort to make a difference.
I think social media’s role in the Challenge is absolutely remarkable and my hope is that we see more positive calls to action go viral. One of the coolest things is that through the Challenge we’ve been reminded that doing good is easy and contagious, so let’s keep the momentum going.
Which leads me to a challenge for you; let’s call it the Good Citizen Challenge. Next time you volunteer, donate money or simply conduct a random act of kindness, take to social media and share it using #GoodCitizen. Don’t do this to brag about what a good citizen you are, but to inspire others to do something.
Also important is once you’ve completed the challenge, challenge someone else! Tag them in your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram post and inspire them to give back somehow, too.
When sharing, remember you don’t have to start the next big movement or mobilize millions, simply use your good deeds to motivate someone else. If we all start shining a spotlight on the good, it will continue to multiply and we will change the world.
One last thing before you go change the world. As I say in the first of the Five Commitments, to give and get the most out of service you need to be present, which means turning off your electronics. So, don’t let your inspiring social media actions interfere with the good you are doing. Stick to the service and share it when you’re done.
Good luck and happy serving!