Rudolph the Disabled Reindeer

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I want to share a story with all of you.  It is of my now six year old daughter Kameron, who at the time was about four and a half.  She was having some trouble with trying to explain what a disability is to her friends at school, she was trying to explain to them that her sister has a disability.

I asked her to think of a favorite television character or character from a story that may have some differences from those of other characters.  I thought this would help in her understanding and explaination. Her reply to me was this:

“Mommy, I think Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has a disability. His nose doesn’t work like all the other reindeer. He has to learn to do things with his nose differently than the rest of the reindeer and in the end all of his friends are happy! They like his red nose.”

I was floored by her response.  It was perfect! The more I thought about, it was the perfect analogy to help kids understand that some of us are born with differences.  These differences can sometimes cause limitations, however when we give an individual the opportunity to excel, we see their true abilities.  And really, doesn’t the song tell us that, “Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say: ‘Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight’.” 

It is a traditional song we have all heard and sang along to, but did you ever really listen to the message? I will forever think of a disabled reindeer, who sadly was bullied by the society he knew, but it took the voice of one to change that. 

If each us took the time to see every ability, wouldn’t that brightness abolish any fog that remained?

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