8 Things to learn
from The Ugly Duckling
- Words can really hurt you – The ugly duckling did his best to fit in and be a good little duck. Still, the other animals called him names and said very unkind things to him which hurt him, so that he finally ran away. Kids need to understand that being mean to someone and saying nasty things just because that person looks or acts different is not right and is very hurtful to the victim.
- Have compassion on other people – The other animals could have accepted the ugly duckling because he was a member of Mama Duck’s family. They could have regarded him of worthy of respect just because he was another of the creatures in the barn yard. Instead of being mean about his difference, they could have had compassion on him and treated him the same as everyone else.
- Don’t make friends with the wrong people – At one point the little duck met some geese. They offered him friendship and would have taken him along with them to meet other geese, except it was hunting season and they were shot down. Had he flown up to go with them, he would have been killed also. Kids need to be aware of who they are looking to for friendship. The wrong relationships can lead to very bad consequences.
- Sometimes you need to lay low so you don’t get hurt – The hunters were out shooting whatever birds they could. The ugly duckling saw this and stayed low until the hunters were gone. Sometimes when things are going bad all around you, it’s best to just lay low, stay still and keep quiet until the storm passes, otherwise you could end up getting hurt.
- Sometimes you need to make do – Everyone would like their circumstances to be ideal. Most of us want what we want when we want it. The ugly duckling learned how to make the best of a bad situation. When he finally found shelter with the farm woman and her cat and hen, he managed to make do with the circumstances, even though they weren’t ideal. Not all situations are going to be perfect, but learning to accept the present condition while remaining hopeful of future improvements goes a long way in making things tolerable.
- Everyone wants to be understood and appreciated – Even though the ugly duckling had been taken in by the old woman and her companions, they did not understand the duckling’s love of the water or desire to go swimming. They did not appreciate the duckling for who he was. It usually does not take much to try to understand where another person is coming from. Even if you don’t agree with the person, making the effort to be understanding is much appreciated.
- Everyone changes – The poor little duckling spent his early days being bullied and insulted because he was different. Finally he grew into the swan he was meant to be. So many children go through an ugly duckling phase which they feel they will never end; but it always does.
- Stay humble – The ugly duckling turned out to be the prettiest swan in the area, however, he didn’t let it get to his head. He could have gone back to the places he had been mistreated and shown off his beauty, but he did not. He remained humble. Humility is a virtue that is not as prevalent as it could be, but it is definitely one worth cultivating.