I nominate you

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist ponders the ramifications of neknomination

I think it’s fairly safe to say that at one time or another many of us have participated in drinking games. Surprisingly enough, I never played a drinking game until about five years ago and not surprisingly, I really didn’t like it. I was cajoled into playing beer pong with friends and I should have just stood my ground instead of bowing to peer pressure. Yup, even fifty-something-year-olds can, and do, fold to peer pressure. The game involves shooting ping pong balls into cups with the losers having to consume the beer. First off, I despise beer. Well, that was my excuse, but my friends suggested I could use wine instead. Wrong move, especially for the kind of gal that likes to sip her wine, not guzzle it down. Secondly, I am a lousy shot when it comes to ping pong balls and red Solo cups.

Anyway, I digress.

There is now a new drinking game call neknominating, or neknomination. The concept is simple: the neknominator films him/herself drinking an alcoholic beverage and then nominates two other friends or acquaintances to do the same. Predictably, those who are nominated try to outdo the nominator’s stunt and so wild and crazy things are incorporated into the game.

Sadly though, what started out as a simple drinking game has rapidly turned into deadly results as those who are nominated throw caution to the wind and blend that one-upmanship with copious amounts of alcohol. In fact, it has become so out of hand that it was reported that one Facebook user mixed and drank a cocktail he said included cider, eggs, battery fluid, urine and three goldfish. To each his own, I guess.

If you search neknomination online, you will find numerous stories about the needless deaths of some of those involved in this new fad. It really is quite sad.

What was heartening, however, was to discover the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/neknominations. According to their FB page they want to tweak the game a bit and throw a more socially conscious spin on it. Their FB page reads: “The idea of #neknominate is to record a random act of kindness and then toast your efforts afterwards and nominate a friend to do the same.”

So, in other words, they’re not demonizing the alcohol, but are instead encouraging a more thoughtful game which will benefit others. Brilliant!

In one video posted on their page, a young man proves his point by driving around until he finds his eligible “victim.” He then proceeds to literally give this man the shirt off his back, including his pants and socks. It isn’t until his good deed is done, that he takes two beers out of his car, hands one to his recipient and then drinks the other. After doing so, he nominates two friends to also do a good deed and then to toast that deed and then each nominate two others.

My husband will attest that I am no mathematician, but even I can see the huge possibilities of random acts of kindness exponentially increasing each time two people are nominated. The sky is the limit! Sometimes two times two doesn’t always equal four.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I am going to try neknomination, but this version is certainly appealing in that it fosters kindness and generosity towards our fellow humans and it also serves as a reminder that we don’t need a special occasion to do something special for another person.

Imagine the possibilities if today, each of us went out of our way to extend our hand and heart to another.