Joshua Goodling: Terminal Cancer Survivor, Speaker, Author

A Lesson From Rudolph

By Joshua Goodling

First of all, I hate to have to mention the fact, but Rudolph the "Red Nosed Reindeer" is just a fictional character. I know that statement alone will be shocking to some!

However, I was listening to the radio on my way to work this morning, and one of the songs they were playing was Rudolph. I never really thought much about the song other than it was one of the songs people sing at Christmas time, but today for some reason, I paid more attention to the words.

You know how in the song all the "other" reindeer laughed at and made fun of Rudolph because he had a red nose, until one day Santa needed Rudolph to guide the sleigh. Then all of the sudden since Rudolph was now "famous", all the reindeer suddenly thought he was "cool" and liked him.

The same can be said for the way a lot of people treat others. Someone who is "different" in our society is often made fun of, ridiculed, or completely shunned and ignored by others. But the real sad thing is, let that person become famous, or do something that "awes" or "inspires" people, and instantly they become "cool", and people want to be with them, etc.

In the eyes of God, all people regardless of their "differences" are considered equal. And as we are commanded to "follow in His steps", we should treat all people the same - with love and with kindness.

Unfortunately, I can also speak from experience about this kind of stuff.

When I was in school, many of the kids would laugh, make fun, or completely ignore me simply because I talked funny, was short, etc.

And even in adulthood, the same thing sometimes happens. I can recall an incident when I went to speak at a High School. When I first walked in to the auditorium and sat on the platform, I could see many of the kids snickering, making jokes to one another, etc. But then when I got up and spoke, they were suddenly looking at me in a different light, like; "Wow!" Then they wanted my autograph, suddenly I was "cool" in their eyes.

I mention those experiences simply because I want to stress that people DO notice when we ignore them, or laugh at them, or make fun of them simply because they are "different".

I think (at least I would hope) that if we really knew the "pain" we sometimes cause by our human selfish actions, we would think more carefully about the way we treat others.

Although fictional, there was nothing changed after Santa asked him to guide the sleigh than before. He still had a red nose, he was still "different" in that regard. The only thing that changed, was now the other reindeer decided he was "cool" enough for them to be nice to him.

No matter what "difference" others may have, they should always be "cool" enough for us to be kind to them!

Thus, a lesson from Rudolph!

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