The Rudolph Syndrome

I was listening to the radio this morning when Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer started playing. I hummed along for a few moments until it came to the part about Santa calling on Rudolph because of his nose and asked him to lead the sleigh. All of sudden the other reindeer weren’t calling him names anymore and they weren’t excluding him from the reindeer games. Now they loved him shouted and even shouted with glee that his name would go down in history.

Rewind to several years ago. I was with a room full of moms and each of them was saying how they had always wanted to get married and have babies. They reminisced about being young girls and dreaming this dream. They didn’t know it at the time but I felt out-of-place. I always wanted to be a supreme court justice and have a nanny. As I sat there, I could envision a grove full of trees. None of the trees were exactly alike. I realized I was created to be different, as were you.

Fast forward to this past spring. I was spending time alone to reflect on my life. I realized that my closest set of friends were business majors and could not understand my me fully. I was a psychology major.  I made decisions that were impractical or seemed silly but they made sense to me and usually worked out in the end. Even if they didn’t work out, I was okay with that.

Getting back to Rudolph, my point is he was not liked when he was seen as different. He was misunderstood and according to the movie, it was tough enough that he felt the need to run away to join the other misfits. In the end it worked out for him. Santa saw his value and gave him a position of honor. I say to my fellow Rudolphs it’s okay to be you. There is value in being uniquely you. It may not be easy and you may not get to lead the sleigh but you are valuable no matter where you are in the line up. The others can just go kick rocks. (I think that is the funniest saying)

I wonder, are you a person who looks at others’ uniqueness as a personal challenge to try to get them to conform or do you embrace those people who are different hoping to learn something new and experience something different? There is room in this world for all kinds. Where is the fun in everybody being the same?

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