Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me my friend. You are always welcome around my table. Merry Christmas to you and your family. While watching the tail end of the movie Elf starring Will Ferrell — amongst a host of other distinguished actors — I thought about a familiar song that is sung at Christmas time “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”.
As a youth I heard this song sung and thought the song was a happy song.
As I have grown older the words of the song have taken on a different meaning. One of the main characters in the song is Rudolph. As the song begins we are drawn to the names of Santa’s reindeer. Special attention is then drawn to Rudolph — one of the reindeer — who had a bright red shiny nose. The song goes on to tell us that Rudolph was not allowed to play in reindeer games, laughed at and called names.
Although the reason (s) for Rudolph being shunned, laughed at and called names is not clear, the song draws attention to the fact that Rudolph was the only reindeer — amongst the herd — who had a bright red shiny nose.
Although Rudolph is merely a fictional character in a Christmas song his plight can easily be identified with by individuals who have experienced similar rejection and ridicule — because they are different than the herd. As an individual with a disability I could easily identify with Randolph’s position in the herd. For many years I found myself rejected, ridiculed and ostracized because I — too — was different than the members of many herds.
My traumatic brain injury and invisible disability left me ill equipped to fit in with the herd. You may also have a traumatic brain injury or some other disability that has left you ill equipped to “fit in ” with the herd. Consequently, you also may be able to identify with Rudolph’s plight.
The song goes on to say, “then one foggy Christmas night Santa came to say…” . In this part of the song the obvious becomes clear. Santa recognized what the herd choose to ridicule…the gift that Rudolph had to give…a bright red shiny nose. Consequently, Santa asked Rudolph “won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Santa both recognized, valued and appreciated Rudolph’s gift. What was mocked by the other reindeer came center stage as essential.
What made Rudolph different from the herd drew him to a unique place of service. Rudolph’s gift drew him to his destiny. What made Rudolph different empowered Rudolph to be of maximum service to Santa, his fellow reindeer and many other people.
What makes you and I different from the herd also makes you and I very special. Our gifts, talents and abilities will make room for us and we will find ourselves being of maximum service to a loving God and to those individuals who God brings into our lives. We can rest assured that we will be drawn to a unique place of service and in the process become a beacon of hope.
If the “herd” chooses to reject, laugh at us or call us names we can let them go. We can choose to practice live and let live. We no longer need to convince any of the herd (s) that we come across of our significance or value. Instead we can go about the business of developing our gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for us. We can therefore let go of the outcomes and trust the process because our worth is not connected to a herd.
Be encouraged my friend. More will be revealed to you. Stay committed to your vision and your mission. Stay committed to who you are and what you bring to the table of life. Stay the course.
Be bold and courageous for your toil is not in vain.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Ghandi
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