Monday, December 9, 2013
Christmas Classic Dissed for Promoting Bullying?
Recently my boss shared something she heard on the radio about Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and how it sends the wrong message to children - seriously? She was upset that this individual was ruining the cherished holiday classic. Apparently the commentator was discussing the bullying message Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer depicts.
Well, I guess you can look at it that way if you want to. Does Rudolph get bullied for being different? Certainly. Does this cause him discomfort? Absolutely! Does he let it defeat him - for a little while, yes he does, however, I believe the real message that this show provides is that our differences are what make us who we are and that the opinions of others are not as important as what we think of ourselves.
I believe that most children empathize with Rudolph and ultimately Rudolph not only helps Santa and saves Christmas... he gets the girl! He used his strength - his glowing red nose- to the best of his ability and managed to do what all the other reindeer were unable to do. He was the hero.
How many heroes are there among us that have yet to realize their full potential because they let the opinions of others keep them from using all that they have? Maybe they should re-watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and see that our differences are what makes us strong!
On a more serious note, I wish there was a way to end bullying, at all levels, but I don't see that ever happening. Our community recently made the news when a child opened fire at his middle school, killing a teacher and wounding two students before turning the gun on himself. It was horrific and devastating to the families, the school and to our community. I strongly suspect (based on comments from some individuals I know who are at the school) that bullying was a factor and my heart breaks for not only the teacher who tried to talk the child down (and his family), but for the two children shot as well as for the shooter and his family. Yes I have taken some heat for that but the child who committed this atrocity is just as much a victim as the others. We need to teach our children how to respond to bullies, we need to give all children (also many adults) tools to deal with conflict and we need to not only listen to their words but to their actions. I think Rudolph could be a great conversation starter for this topic.