I’ve heard some folks say that they watch My Little Pony because its relentless optimism helps them escape reality for a little while. I can’t speak for everypony, but I like it for augmenting reality, not providing refuge from it.
The world can be a grim place, and we are bombarded with reminders of that with every turn of the newspaper page, and every disparaging word from strangers competing with us for parking spots, or for the last of any coveted item at the grocery store. However, the positive virtues of My Little Pony don’t exist in some bubble disconnected from our own universe. They are real. They are all around us. Love. Tolerance. The power of friendship. They’re all real, and they’re alive and kicking. (You just don’t read about it in the papers very much).
Everyday somebody somewhere sacrifices their life for someone they care about. Everyday somebody somewhere gives his last dime to help out a friend in need. Right now somebody is staying up all night to watch over a friend whose health has taken a turn for the worse, and right now, someone is driving through the night for hundreds of miles to come to the aid of a friend in need.
It doesn’t get any realer than that!
Can you go through life wearing blinders to all the suffering going on around you? Of course not. But it’s just as silly to pretend that that’s all there is to life – suffering and solitude. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fills many of us with hope. It makes us hope and it makes us smile, not because it invented the awesomeness of friendship, but because it holds a mirror up to the world and shows us the beauty and nobility that already exists within us all.
That’s not escapism. That’s just the other side of the story.
Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! is a new column featuring reflections on love, tolerance, friendship, and other pony feelz.