The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Phenomenon Gives Me Hope!

This summer, I have been overwhelmed emotionally with some of the news coming out of the Middle East. I can’t even speak of one particular story I heard reported on CBC without choking up and tearing up. I don’t know if I’m getting more sensitive or whether the nature of violence we are afflicting upon one another is becoming more ghastly. My response has been to significantly curtail listening to world news, at least for now.

Simultaneous to the horror going on overseas, in North America, the summer of 2014 has marked by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon. For those of you who are not yet “in the know”, this activity involves dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head to raise money for charity, specifically the ALS Association. I won’t get into the details of how it all works – you can google that. What is significant is that the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media. Numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes, and everyday folks have taken on the Ice Bucket Challenge and posted videos of themselves online. Since then, the charitable donations for ALS have soared. As reported on in Wikipedia, “On August 18, 2014, the ALS Association announced that it had received 15. 6 million in donations compared to 1.8 million during the same period (July 29 to August 18) in the prior year. OK, I must be getting more sensitive as I grow older. My eyes are literally welling up as I am writing this!

What inspires me is the realization that collectively, we can be powerful force for good and we can mobilize this power quickly! The donations of 15.6 million noted above, came from both existing donors and 307,598 new donors in 21 days! Three weeks, the effective use of social media and a lot of goodwill has turned the tides for the ALS Association. How exciting is that! We truly are “powerful beyond measure” as Marianne Williamson speaks to in her Course in Miracles! Together, we are capable of tipping the balance in our world towards GOODWILL.

And so, as I embark on another year at the helm of Excellence Seminars International (in my mind, the year runs from September – August), I do both with a deeper yearning to make significant inroads on the side of goodwill. I have always believed that it only takes 51 percent to change momentum in any direction and I genuinely believe it is within our reach. Towards that end, I am even more committed to our MISSION which is to strengthen the fabric of good will that exists in the world through a commitment to lifelong learning.

~ Pam Lewis, Director & Program Leader