Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thank Goodness We Aren't Like Reindeer

Another Christmas season has come and gone. We have survived another year of stressful shopping, hectic schedules, traffic jams, long lines at the malls and the like. Hopefully we have also found time to reflect on the significance of the birth of Jesus, for he is the true meaning of Christmas. Without his coming to earth we would not be celebrating Christmas.

But as I reflected upon this Christmas season, it occurred to me that reindeer are nasty creatures. They are very mean spirited and spiteful. They are bullies and racist, with little regard for other reindeer who are different from them. They reject all reindeer whom are not brown nosed. They ignore or take advantage of the physically challenged in their midst. They pick on and tease other reindeer, treating them poorly. Their constant teasing amounts to torment. Not only that, but they are reckless, with little regard for the safety and health of others, especially the elderly in their community. They speed when pulling sleighs. When they hit someone they never stop to help the unfortunate victims. Their emotions are always flip-flopping. They may accept others one day and reject them the next. One never knows which it will be. This trait allows them to be manipulative. Plus, they tend to only accept others who are different when they find them useful to achieve their own ends.

To see the truth of these observations we only need to look at how the reindeer treat poor Rudolph. They continually laugh at him and call him names. They are constantly picking on him. They tease him about his red nose. When they play the reindeer equivalent of playground pickup games, they refuse to let him play. If they do allow him to play, they always choose him last. They only accept him when they need him for something. They only “love” him because he can help them out when they are in desperate straits because of the dense fog. One wonders how long their acceptance of poor Rudolph lasted once the fog lifted. Are their shouts of “you’ll go down in history” only said in jest when they consign him back to oblivion once his usefulness is over? Do they shout this as they go back to their reindeer games without him? Is their glee only the glee associated with their ability to tease him once again?

Reindeer are so callous that they never even think of bringing those who are hit and run reindeer into court to account for their deeds. Even when known to have run down elderly, frail grandmothers, they have no pangs of guilt or remorse. With their reckless driving habits, they are prone to road rage. With the attitudes and behaviors that reindeer have, it is a good thing they only come around once a year. We wouldn’t want to tolerate them more than that.

Thank goodness we humans don’t act like reindeer. We are always level headed. We aren’t manipulative. We aren’t racist. We have a profound respect for the elderly. We help the needy. We readily accept the disabled. We don’t bully and tease others or get bent out of shape when someone crosses our path. We graciously allow others to cut in front of us on the expressways. We never go over the speed limit. We never use people to further our own ends. We accept people for who they are rather than what they can do for us. We never act like reindeer. Or do we?

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