Last week, we were asked by Seaway News editor Todd Lihou to participate in the ALS Ice bucket challenge. The ad campaign, which has taken over social media over the last few weeks, was put together by the ALS Association of Canada as a means to raise awareness about the disease. As I am writing this, the campaign has raised over 80 million dollars and this number is increasing each day.
It was a beautiful sunshiny Monday Morning and we arrived at the Civic Complex happy and up to the dare. We were greeted by City employee Kevin Lajoie and Mr. Lihou himself, who were already gathering the buckets together for the shindig. Standard-Freeholder Hugo Rodrigues and Seaway News Adam Brazeau joined us just in time for the bucket dump.
The water and ice dropped. It was cold! If you wish to be humoured, you can have a look at the video on our website.
It was a GOOD thing and it was great to see some of the most notable print media in the city come together in solidarity for the same cause, showing that we CAN work together.
But of course some people had to put their own spin to it.
It took but a few hours for the folks at Cornwall Free News to take a positive and turn it into a negative. Shortly after our picture was posted on Facebook, comments insinuating that print media used the challenge for shameful self promotion and accusations of deliberate attempt to omit certain media outlets surfaced from the owner’s Facebook account. An article titled “Local Media Cheapen ALS Challenge In Cornwall Ontario By Playing Petty Politics” was also written and posted to CFN’s website, and while they didn’t mention the Seeker by name–an intentional try at making us feel little, no doubt–we still think it sad that they would portray this as a selfish gesture and also pretend to know the driving force behind Mr. Lihou’s actions.
Other local people have also vocally expressed their opinion of the massively popular media stunt. Some condemned it, some defended it. Reading through the public comments, I found that both sides of the argument got ugly.
This is a beautiful city and in it, lives wonderful people. Not everybody is bad, not every person is rotten, not every politician is corrupt. I’ll agree that Cornwall does needs new blood and a change in mentality. We need to stop adhering to old school politics and backwards thinking. But we certainly don’t need negativity. There is more than enough of that going around. We are where we are BECAUSE of negativity, BECAUSE of people who can’t see the good in anything. We need to stop thinking that everyone is out to get us or working against us. We need to look at our own attitude first and find ways to improve it. Change starts with us. As a matter of fact, the ONLY thing you can change is yourself.
I firmly think you can achieve a lot more by bringing things to light in a positive manner rather than by attacking, rioting and creating drama. A gentle approache gets the masses thinking. An abrasive one, only gets a few individuals going.