Source: MLP: FIM, Season 4, Episode 25
I’ve seen atheists post memes declaring My Little Pony relevant to their core values, and observed Christians getting upset over it. I’ve seen Christians post memes declaring My Little Pony relevant to their core values, and observed atheists getting upset over it.
We are a diverse fandom.
Gay. Straight. Conservative. Liberal. Muslim. Jew. You name it, we’ve got it. And that means that culture clash is somewhat inevitable.
Now I know everyone has heard the we are all bronies, let’s get along argument before, and as nice as that sounds, it’s not a realistic expectation, nor is it the reason I’m writing this, believe it or not. If you’re a conservative, and somepony says to you, “you can’t be a brony – you’re a conservative,” you have every right to be annoyed. If you’re a homosexual, and somepony on a pony-related forum starts preaching about how evil homosexuals are, you have every right to be offended. When someone is a jerk to you, there’s very little you can do to make them not a jerk.
However, there is a much deeper truth here that bears exploring. So many people from so many different walks of life watch the show, and see their own values mirrored back at them. The question we should be asking when we come across someone who seems to take something totally different out of the show than we do isn’t “How dare they?” The more interesting question is: “How is this even possible?”
Applejack described family as the first friends you ever make, and she was right. Childhood is where our prototypical values are developed, and the task of learning to get along with others is the first challenge we ever face where those values are truly put to the test. Long before we developed the capacity for comprehending complex ideologies, or nuanced rhetoric to defend them, we first had to learn to make friends – to step outside of our selves, and to put the needs of others before our own sometimes.
In the simplest, purest sense, that’s what My Little Pony is all about. It celebrates our little victories. It examines the great struggle we all face everyday from preschool to the grave – the incredibly simple, yet undeniably difficult task of conquering our own selfish inclinations.
At the end of the day, isn’t that why we have values to begin with? To help us achieve just that?
So, while it’s unfortunate that these silly ideological conflicts occasionally crop up, rather than getting frustrated with them, I look at them as evidence of the universality of the message of the show – as proof that My Little Pony is on to something.
That’s why so many people look at pony and see their own values reflected back at them. Because there is a beautiful truth at the core of the human spirit. A spark that lights up when the lessons we learned so very long ago come to life.
The plain and simple fact that friendship is magic.
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