22 Life Lessons Learned from the TV special
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

By Corinne H. Smith
Gleaned from decades of watching since the show first aired in 1964,
when I was 7 years old


Authoritarian figures are sticklers for following rules but can be open to new ideas and breaking paradigms if given good reason. (Santa, King Moonraiser, Yukon Cornelius)


If your team members aren’t doing what you ask of them, try showing them the way. (Yukon Cornelius)


While working in a team can be good, so can going off on your own and taking time to think about Life. And you should not be punished for doing so. Introverts famously do this. (Rudolph, Hermie)


“Believe in your dreams, come what may.” (Clarice’s song)


Even after being told by males not to get involved, females can find success by ignoring the advice. And even if they don’t, they should not be punished for doing so. (Clarice, Mrs. Donner)


Negative thinking won’t get you anywhere. (Misfit Toys on Christmas Eve, before Santa’s arrival)


People can be good friends even if they don’t quite understand each other. (Rudolph, not knowing what a dentist is, but supporting Hermie’s wish to be one)


Changing one’s mind is acceptable. OR: Have an open mind. (Yukon Cornelius, Santa, Comet, Head of the Elves, everyone who thought the Abominable Snow Monster was sinister, everyone who thought that Rudolph should be an outcast)


Work should be fun and have meaning. (Hermie, the elves)


Love at first sight is possible, even if the odds are against it. (Clarice, Rudolph)


Always check the weather forecast before venturing out on a long or difficult trip. (Santa, Clarice, Mrs. Donner, Rudolph)


Cliches are so, well, cliché. (Yukon Cornelius)


Know both the strengths and weaknesses of your adversaries. (Yukon Cornelius, knowing the Abominable Snow Monster couldn’t swim but that he could bounce and that he preferred pork to venison)


Sometimes taking a chance is the only way out. (Yukon Cornelius, Hermie and Rudolph)


The attitude of an entire group can change in an instant to become mob behavior, given the right set of circumstances. (Fireball and other reindeer, mocking Rudolph)


Nonconformity and diversity should be acknowledged and welcomed. (everyone)


Perfection is greatly overrated. (Misfit Toys)


You cannot disguise your truth. (Rudolph)


You cannot run away from your problems. (Rudolph, Hermie)


You CAN go home again. (Rudolph, Hermie)


Behind every good man is an even better woman. (Mrs. Claus, Mrs. Donner, Clarice)


Music can be used to explain anything. (Sam the Snowman)



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