Focusing on Strengths: A Lesson from Rudolph

As this holiday season ramps up, we are reminded of diversity and the gift such differences offer us in the tale of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

How sad that Rudolph’s difference was scorned:

“All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”

No one even was even curious about the delight of that shiny nose and what potential it had to bring happiness and light to others. In fact, in the famous cartoon version of the story, this theme is expanded. We see Rudolph’s parents’ original joy with their son jeopardized when they acknowledge his obvious difference from the other reindeer. And rather than recognizing this difference as a special talent, the parents tri...


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About Susan Baum

Susan Baum, Ph.D., is an educator, author, consultant, and Director of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development. The author of To Be Gifted and Learning Disabled, her writing and research cover many areas of education, including differentiated curriculum and instruction, gifted education, gifted learning-disabled students, and gifted underachieving students.