Rudolph, Forgiveness, Inspiration, and Rorschach

Most of us know the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  The original story is here CLICK.


The television special version that I grew up with is here CLICK.


In the version of the story that I grew up with Santa Claus was aware of the other reindeer harassing Rudolph due to his red nose and did nothing to stop it.  Santa Claus even scolded Rudolph’s father, Donner, for trying to hide his son’s condition.  At the end of the story Santa Claus asks for Rudolph’s assistance in guiding his sleigh through bad weather so that he can deliver toys to children throughout the world.  Rudolph says yes, saves the day, and is then respected by those who harassed him.

I am always inspired by the television special version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Why am I, an adult male, inspired by a children’s television show?  Because based upon the way Rudolph was harassed by his fellow reindeer over a physical condition he had no control over, and Santa Claus’ non-intervention, when asked to help he could have looked Santa Claus in the eye and said “No.”

Imagine what would have happened if Rudolph said no.  Children all over the world would not receive their toys.  Santa Claus’ reputation is ruined.  The entire system falls apart.  Despite any desire for revenge on those who wronged him Rudolph took the high road.  He put aside the past and helped Santa Claus.  Not only did the children receive their toys but the legend of Rudolph exists to inspire future generations of reindeer.  For some reason I imagine a reindeer version of Marine Corps running cadences except instead of singing about Chesty Puller they are singing about Rudolph.


What decision would you have made if you were Rudolph?

What decision did you make when asked for help by someone who wronged you?

I admit as a flawed human I side more with the Rorschach character in the film “Watchmen” who said “… [they] will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll look down and whisper “No.”  I admit I need an attitude adjustment and I am working on it.


So this holiday season I encourage you to watch the television special version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Let Rudolph’s actions inspire you to be better.