Rudolph and the Human Condition

Things are looking up for the once-rejected reindeer. He is now a public figure. In modern-day lingo, he has become a celebrity . . .

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
“Rudolph, with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
You’ll go down in history”

Every time I hear this song, a ting goes off in my head. It took me a while to figure out why, but after much careful thought, I realised that the world runs on the ideology of this seemingly harmless ‘Christmas’ song.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was part of a society like ours. Like every random person, there was something about him that stuck out like a sore thumb and made him stand out from the rest of the pack: his red nose. You see, in his community, just like mine, this startling difference brought him much ridicule. He was bullied left, right and centre. No one saw his difference as special. No one wanted to associate with him. They called him names. They laughed at him. They excluded him. Poor Rudolph must have felt miserable.

Suddenly, someone with a great level of influence stepped into the picture: Santa! For whatever reason, he thinks much of Rudolph enough to appoint him with a much-coveted role: head of reindeer, director of sleighing. Ta-da!

Things are looking up for the once-rejected reindeer. He is now a public figure. In modern-day lingo, he has become a celebrity. An influencer. Soon the deals start rolling in. He becomes a brand ambassador for reindeer shoes and hats. They even write a song about him. It isn’t long before the reindeer damsels begin to flock around him, and now everyone wants to be his friend. The very same reindeer that laughed at him and called him names, in the twinkle of an eye, started to ‘love’ him. Oh, how the reindeer loved him.

So what changed?

Rudolph still had the red nose that made them taunt him at the start, but now, because Santa endorsed him, the red nose doesn’t matter anymore. How fickle – and there wasn’t even social media when this song was written.

You’ve probably seen this happen a million times around you. It might have even happened to you. Once ignored by everyone when you had nothing, now you’re the talk of the town when fortune smiled on you. Sad to say that as easy as it was for the ‘love’ to begin is as easy as it’ll end.

Wealth makes many “friends”; poverty drives them all away.

Proverbs 19:4

I am reminded of the story of Jesus and the people who wanted to crown him king:

So they collected them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Then Jesus, realising that they were about to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself (John 6:13-15)

If there was anyone who suddenly came to the public eye after being overlooked for a long time, it was Jesus. One would wonder why he responded to their desire to make him king by running away; another story will explain why:

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. (John 2:23-25)


Over the years, we have watched the rise and fall of many ‘celebrities’ who attained status through the praises of the masses. As quickly as they came into the limelight was a quickly as they got cancelled by the same masses that endorsed them. We live in a world where identity and success are tied to the number of followers, likes, shares and praises you get, but no one tells you how fickle these things are. A lot of people have ended their lives because they lost these things to which they anchored their identity. It is our duty to teach our children that their identity can only be anchored on what GOD SAYS ABOUT THEM and nothing else.

In all honesty, I do feel sorry for Rudolph. We never got to hear how he responded to the sudden change in the attitude of the other reindeer, but I hope with all my heart that he took it all with a pinch of salt!


4 thoughts on “Rudolph and the Human Condition

  1. They called him names and laughed at him, just like kids still do. Then (an important) someone recognized how valuable he really was (which value he had not recognized, himself), and his strength was an asset for everyone.
    We all have our strengths, which we may or may not see. I think God’s plan was for everyone to point out and encourage everyone else’s strengths. That’s edification, and as a society, we’re not very good at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s another lesson out of the song, Kathy! His strength was an asset for everyone. May we learn to encourage each other, and as the Bible says, spurring each other to good works (like you do for me, Kathy 🥰)

      Liked by 1 person

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