Commentary: See the good in everyone this holiday season

Each Christmas I feel sorry for Rudolph the famous red-noised reindeer. Although the story has a happy ending, there is a moral to the story I think so many overlook. That being everyone likes you if you are someone of prominence, good looks or popularity.

On the other hand, if you are down on your luck, have a disability such as Rudolph, many people tend to shy away from you.

Rudolph was born a healthy, good-looking reindeer with only one difference from the other baby reindeer born, his nose was a little longer than normal reindeer, but he was accepted by all the reindeer, even catching the eye of Clarice who in a later movie was called Zoe.

Frank Calio

Rudolph had it made — friends, and a girlfriend; what more could a young kid want? He was atop of the world when, like in many instances of a healthy child, an unknown affliction hit him. And suddenly his world changed for the worse.

His nose began blinking red like the light on a buoy in the ocean or a school zone flashing light. Suddenly Rudolph was an outcast, not only with his friends, but even Jolly Old St. Nick.

He was shunned, not allowed to play other reindeer games. Even Santa didn’t want him part of his team of reindeer, so the poor fellow did what many people do who are denied, he ran away from home.

After a time away from home, seeing other misfits on an island, he decided to return home and ask Santa to give other misfit toys a second chance. Good luck with that one Rudy.

But return home he did, and just in time as a heavy fog set in, causing a possible delay for Santa’s Christmas Eve deliveries to all his boys and girls.

Santa’s only option was to postpone Christmas, which indeed would cause havoc Christmas morning.

But alas, a bright red light shone through the dense fog. By golly it was that misfit Rudolph; then a light bulb went off in Santa’s head. That misfit’s nose so bright, he could guild my sleigh tonight. What a brilliant idea!

Suddenly Rudolph vaulted from the bottom of the heap to the top, a hero, for he would salvage Christmas. Although Rudolph skipped flying class because he ran away, he took off like a professional pilot and led the team of Santa’s reindeer.

Apparently the shrewd Rudolph cut a deal with Santa before he accepted the job as team leader, and the misfits were included with the other Christmas gifts. I think I received some of those over the years. Apparently misfit toys replaced coal.

Now the point of my story, Rudolph as a hero with his nose so bright was no different that the runt with his nose so bright.

We often see people for the worst in them, either from their faults or their attire. A poor homeless person is often frowned upon as useless or lazy, when in reality this person could have been a productive member of society who has fallen on hard times.

A lady I knew often told me there was some good in everyone, and I have tried to remember that when tempted to put someone down.

Given a second chance, as happened to Rudolph, many people could once again become productive.

If all people are created equal in the eyes of our Master, everyone bleeds red, why do we discriminate against certain races, religions or lifestyles?

Heck, I find in many cases people of a different color or those having disabilities have the same human qualities as I and others have. Those with different lifestyles, if shown respect, are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. They know what it is to be stared down upon, shown disrespect and ignored.

This is the season of giving and loving. Next time you pass someone, anyone, give them a smile and wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, or Season’s Greetings; to me any greeting this time of year is politically correct.

You could make that person’s day and who knows, seeing the reaction on their faces could make your day as well.

From my family to yours, we wish you a merry and healthy Christmas. Give thanks for what you have, even if it isn’t much; there are people throughout the world living in worst conditions.

Frank Calio is a former state election commissioner and a native of Laurel.

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