It can get better, I know this from experience. When I was but a young reindeer, my peers bullied me mercilessly about my nose. It was not the coal black of theirs, but bright red. The worst of it was that the more the others teased me, the redder it got, until I lit up entire snow banks and caused the elves to draw down the shades in their nearby workshop and put on sunglasses. Even the adult reindeer were no help, telling their children not to play with me because their noses might turn red too.
I expect you’ve heard the song or watched the movie, so you know what happened. The blizzard of a lifetime blew in one year. The big guy thought he would not be able to see in order to make his Christmas time journey. He was afraid he would crash into a hillside in West Virginia where his courageous sleigh team might risk injuries or worse but his clever thinking and willingness to see my difference as strength saved the day!
Now I still proudly lead the team every year and everyone knows who I am. Some of the younger reindeer even sneak into the elves’ workshop on occasion and dip their noses into buckets of red paint, in order to look just like me. Of course their parents lick it off, but I am flattered.
My story has been heard by millions of children and their parents over the last 70 years. The moral is not difficult to detect; bullying is not cool, it is okay to be different, and differences makes us unique and strong. Yet people still need to hear the message that things can get better, but only if we all act to create change.
If I had but one holiday wish this year, it would be that each one of you speaks out against bullying in your schools and communities to help bring it to an end. It is one of the greatest gift you can give a person.
(Provided by Theresa Hoskins, Wetzel County Family Resource Network)