Small and subtle things can influence our lives to a great extent. Sometimes, the childhood memories can become the ultimate source of wisdom that we all crave. But have you ever wondered how deeply this sweet and simple story based on love and belongingness had impacted us? Did you ever realize that the story is much more than just being a kids’ story and give us such precious leadership lessons?
The Velveteen Rabbit is a story, written by Margery Williams, about a stuffed toy rabbit made of velveteen and his owner. A small boy is gifted this toy rabbit and loves it a lot, but as he finds new modern and mechanical toys, he forgets about the toy rabbit.
Seeing the mechanical toys acting, as if they were real, the rabbit becomes disgruntled. The Skin Horse, a fellow nursery toy, tells the rabbit the true meaning of being REAL. The Skin Horse is perhaps the oldest of all the toys and thus seems to be the most experienced one. He explains the rabbit that a toy can only become real when its owner loves it unconditionally, and if the toy is loved unconditionally by its master, it doesn’t matter if he looks shabby or torn off.
Once the boy was attacked by scarlet fever, and the doctor told his family to keep his room uninfected, and thus, they decided to burn and destroy all the germ-infected toys, including the velveteen rabbit. While the rabbit was waiting for his turn to be burnt, he started crying, and a real tear came out of his eyes and fell on the ground, came out of it a nursery magic fairy. The fairy carried him along to the forest where she kissed him to make him real and told him to play and have fun with the other real rabbits.
Later, in the springs, the boy came to the forest to see the rabbits where he saw a rabbit looking much familiar to his velveteen rabbit, but couldn’t believe that it was actually the same velveteen rabbit.
Here, in this article, we’d be learning “Nine of the precious life and leadership lessons” from The Velveteen Rabbit story –
Leadership Lesson #1. It’s all about being real
A real leader has to be honest and sincere, firstly, to himself, and secondly, to those who look up to him. Realism is the key. If you’re real to yourself, nobody can break you up. Even if you commit a mistake or make a blunder, you know yourself, what your weaknesses are, what your strengths are. You know you’re going to rectify your mistake and emerge as a better leader and a great person too.
Cofidence Lesson #2. Self- confidence will lead you further
With realism, comes the strength to fight the criticism. When everybody else is against you, trying to pull you down, hold yourself. Keep the faith intact in yourself. Don’t tremble, don’t panic. Those who do not break in tough situations are the real leaders.
Experience Lesson #3. It can hurt you
Humans have a tendency of making mistakes. We all goof up at some points. There’s nothing wrong in that. Sometimes you might get hurt, you might land into trouble that you didn’t anticipate, but you shouldn’t be much bothered about it. With every trouble you get into, with every mistake you make, with every wrong decision of yours, you grow. Your experience grows. And one day, it would become your biggest weapon- Experience.
Loyalty Lesson #4. Don’t cheat those who love you
Your followers, your well-wishers, love you for who you really are. In order to love them back, you need to love yourself. Any relationship will sustain only if the two people involved are genuine to each other. If any part of you is not involved in it, it’s not real, and this would amount to cheating them. The biggest leadership lesson is that a leader should never cheat his people.
Risk Lesson #5. It is worth taking risks
A real leader would not hesitate to take risks. It needs loads of courage. A spineless person can never be a good leader. As much as it is important to take risks, it is equally essential to take the blame of the repercussions caused by your act. Then only people would accept you as their leader.
Hope Lesson #6. Never lose hope
Every one of us is destined to go through good and bad times. Up and downs are a part of our lives. One day you’ll be on top of the world, the other day you’ll be on the ground. Not every day is a good day and vice versa. One should never lose hope, no matter what. Work harder for the real red-letter day. It will happen soon.
Fear Lesson #7. Fear no one
A great leader shouldn’t be afraid of standing up against wrong. He should fear nothing. Criticizing the evil on the first blush is one of the most crucial traits of a good leader. It’s important for a person to be able to identify between good and bad, wrong and right.
Lesson #8. Being grateful
A person should never forget those who helped him in his bad times. The velveteen rabbit did not forget his owner. He came back to visit the boy who used to play with him. One should learn from the rabbit to be grateful to those who help you in becoming who you are today. An ungrateful man is the worst kind of a man.
Survival Lesson #9. Constantly battle to survive
In a world full of competition, you need to battle constantly to survive. The battle of survival should be with yourself at first place, and then with others. Rejuvenate yourself every day, re-energize yourself, put up your best front and carry on with good work. That’s how you become a real gem of a person.
And the list goes on and on!
There are more leadership and life lessons that we should learn from “The Velveteen Rabbit” that couldn’t be listed here. Imbibing these life traits and leadership lessons in your life can help you grow better and become bigger.
Featured Image Credit: MI VIDA LOCA