Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

The latest challenge taking over the internet falls into the category of “what is the stupidest thing a human being could do?”

Viral internet memes and challenges predate the ice bucket challenge, though that is the best-known. Most, however, don’t have the distinction of helping to raise money for a good cause.

Most are just plain stupid. Some are dangerous. The cinnamon challenge — where the challenger tries to hold a tablespoon in their mouth — falls into both categories. Anyone who has ever baked with cinnamon knows just how powerful even a little bit of it is.

Cinnamon is tasty, but who wants to end up inhaling enough cinnamon to burn your airways?

The Tide Pod challenge, gaining popularity over the last week or so, tops them all for being dangerous and just amazingly stupid. The goal here is to hold one of the detergent capsules in your mouth and bite into it.

The results are predictable. After all, this is not only soap — remember the threat of having your mouth washed out with soap? — but an extremely concentrated and chemical form of it.

Tide Pods are, as Proctor & Gamble is desperately pointing out right now, not meant to be used for anything other than washing your clothes.

It’s not children under 10 that are trying this out. They know better. It’s teens, young adults and even more sadly older adults, out to try and prove how tough they are by attempting to win a Darwin Award.

More like prove what an idiot they are.

The ice bucket challenge proved how powerful a viral meme can be. So, here’s our challenge: instead of proving your lack of individuality and intelligence, film yourself being a good human being. A random act of kindness would qualify as would volunteering, building something or anything that contributes to a better society.

And borrowing from a new campaign by some secondary school students, here’s an appropriate hashtag: #bekindchallenge

We dare you.

Steve Kidd is the senior reporter with the Penticton Western News.

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