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Why the #IceBucketChallenge Works

08/20/2014 04:18 pm 16:18:03 | Updated Oct 20, 2014

It's sweeping the nation. The Cold Water Challenge, or Ice Bucket Challenge, has become the rage.

You've probably seen it online or on TV. People take a bucket of water mixed with ice cubes and dump it over their heads. It's done to raise awareness for a number of charities, although more recently it seems that the ALS Foundation (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease) is the primary charity of focus.

The rules are pretty simple. If you're challenged, you have 24 hours to dump a bucket of ice water over you noggin, then donate $10-$20 to ALS. Or choose the chicken route and forgo the icy H20 and donate $50-$100 to ALS.

Celebrities are even jumping on the bandwagon, like Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga for example. A whole clan of Kennedys did it, including Ethel Kennedy, then challenged President Obama who turned them down flat. He did pledge the $100 donation, but I think he should have done both.

Personally I think every president of the United States should have a bucket of ice water dumped on their head on a regular basis, but certainly if you're one that has a PR problem and seem out of touch with the average Joe. In that case, a cold bucket of ice water is exactly what the doctor, uh... advisor should order.

I even saw Jimmy Fallen and his crew do the bucket splash on his show. Vin Diesel did it and then challenged Vladimir Putin. I don't know if Putin will accept. I mean, seriously, does he seem like the type to take off his shirt just to be the center of attention?

That brings us to the point of why the challenge has been so successful. And the challenge is working like crazy. The ALS Foundation has reported a 1000 percent rise in donations. That's awesome. It's working because it feeds the most hungry of all character traits instilled in human beings -- ego. And it does it while covering that other powerful, but less attractive, trait -- ostentation.

Let's see, you want me to make a video of myself? I'm loving the plan so far. It will let everyone know I was important enough for someone to challenge. Heck yeah; let's do it. And it will show everyone that I'm not the jerk they believe me to be because I'm giving to charity. Now we're talking. And best of all, I won't even be bragging. Sign me up now, gosh darn it.

That's all it takes to get average citizens to donate money and time to a worthy cause involving people they will never know or possibly really care about. Make it about them.

But you know what? Who cares? It's working and that's all that's important. So if you get challenged, dump away and then challenge someone else. If you're lucky, your challenge will fall on your bath day and it will all work out.