My family and I took a trip to Atlanta yesterday to see “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the Center for Puppetry Arts. The show was delightful and I had forgotten about the story-within-the story of the Island of Misfit Toys. Remember those? King Moonracer (a lion with wings), Charlie-in-the-Box (whose given name made him undesirable) and Spotted Elephant (enough said)?
Rudolf, a red-nosed reindeer and Hermey, an elf who didn’t fit in because of his desire to become a dentist, eventually realized that their differences became useful at certain point and that they didn’t need to be like everyone else to be of value. Despite the fidgeting of my son who was on and off my lap 400,000 times during the performance, I kept thinking about how unfortunate it is when differences are disdained or ridiculed rather than appreciated and put to good use.
No matter how you are configured, you have something valuable to offer. There is a time and a season for everyone and developing the sensitivity to know when your number is being called is important if you wish to add value to the circumstances you encounter.
How do you know when it’s your time? There are times when it is obvious, for example, when everyone is staring at you or silently waiting to hear your thoughts or to see your next move. There are other times, however, when it might not be so apparent that your name is being called, such as when you are in a crowd, in unfamiliar territory or heavily involved in something else that is demanding all of your attention.
The best way to ensure that you will be in the right place at the right time, contributing in the way that only you can, is to devote the bulk of your time to the service of others. You may over-do it or under-do it at first, but you will eventually strike a balance if you stick with it.
If you give freely of yourself but refuse to receive the blessings of others you will eventually burn out and likely become bitter in the process. If you focus on what you can get from others in such a way that you miss the opportunities to give, you will never be satisfied with the world around you. As with everything else in life, balance is important when it comes to giving and receiving.
Santa and his team came around relative to the value of the Misfit Toys once Rudolf proved his value on a foggy Christmas eve and there will be those in your life who recognize and appreciate your uniqueness in ways that others never will. Don’t give up what makes you uniquely you, no matter how intense the longing to belong might be in your heart. Keep giving freely and don’t forget to receive, even if it comes in packages you didn’t anticipate!
13 thoughts on “The Island of MiSfIt ToYs”
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A sweet reminder see the value in giving freely AND graciously receiving. Both are parts of a “perfectly good life”.
A great story thanks. It sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family. ‘Tis the season!
We did. It was a great day.
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I’ve always loved the lesson of the Misfit Toys. Great memories, great philosophy. Thanks for sharing for the holidays!
My pleasure. Have a great week!
There are so many variables when it comes to taking charge and using your unique capabilities. It’s definitely a learning process to determine when the right time is. I wonder if Rudolph even considered that his nose would be good in the fog before it happened. Probably not. But if he had balked when his chance came, he would have lost his chance and no one would have considered the value of the misfit toys. What an interesting lesson from a well known story.
Balking is rarely useful!
“I want to be a dentist!”
Great message not just for the holiday season but for the entirety of one’s life on earth. Thanks!!!
The Island of the Misfit Toys was my favorite part of the movie. Each year as we watched the movie it gave me hope.
I felt like a misfit during my school years until my first year of college when I finally gave myself permission to be me and actually found friends who liked and accepted me. I didn’t need to change to have friends.
It’s great you learned it so young!