Today’s post is a guest post from Erin Feldman.
I have long loved the misfit characters in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph with his nose, Hermey the elf who wants to be a dentist, the toys with their seemingly wrong attributes and names. They’re all misfits in one way or another. They don’t quite fit. They’re the square pegs that will never, ever fit into a round hole.
At first, all those characters try to smooth their rough edges. Rudolph covers his nose. Hermey works in Santa’s Workshop. The toys hide on the island. They’re told they need to blend. They’re told they’re too different. They come to believe that their differences mean either they need to run away or they need to be left to rot on an island.
Their perspectives begin to shift. They’re thrust into circumstances that require their qualities and abilities. They begin to see their differences allow them to contribute to the community and to make that community more vibrant.
How does that relate to people and social media? I can think of a few ways:
- Your differences can be your strengths. Hermey’s strength was teeth. He used his knowledge to defeat the Abominable Snow Monster. Without his skills, the story of Rudolph and his friends would have gone very differently.
- Your differences make you stand out from your competitors. Do you have square wheels? Polka dots? The seemingly wrong name? Use those things to your advantage. Celebrate them.
- Your talents should be shared with others. Rudolph and Hermey and the other misfits don’t use their talents to mock the “normal” ones. They share their talents. They serve others with them.
- Your strengths do not preclude you from weaknesses. Rudolph couldn’t pull the sleigh on his own. He could guide it, but he couldn’t pull it. He needed the other reindeer.
- Your abilities give you the opportunity to help others. When Rudolph is restored to his family and friends, he doesn’t forget the other misfits. He rescues the toys. He shares his success with Hermey and Yukon the Prospector.
What other social media lessons do you see in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
Erin Feldman is a writing coach at Write Right. Her background is in marketing communications and creative writing. When she isn’t busy helping people tell their stories, she spends her time writing poetry, drawing, reading, and running.
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