Source: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 2, Episode 11, Hearth’s Warming Eve, 12/17/2011
Ninety-eight years ago, something truly incredible happened. It was still near the beginning of World War One – a movement fueled by propaganda and hatred so strong that weener dogs were stomped to death on the street just for being German, when suddenly peace broke out on the battlefields of Europe, and kindness won the day.
It was Christmas Eve. Some say it started with a lone soldier who braved the dangers of No Man’s Land all alone, carrying flags of truce. Some say it started with the carols that they all sang, (each in their own languages), and a great spontaneous musical harmony between both sides. Either way, one by one, soldiers on both sides of the trenches realized that the men that they had been shooting at were fellow human beings – fellow soldiers with lives and families to protect just like their own.
They laid down their arms and ventured into No Man’s Land. They exchanged gifts of chocolate and cigarettes and brandy with the very “enemy” that their superior officers (and society back home) had taught them to hate. They formed soccer teams and held impromptu matches. They traded dirty photographs. They cut down what tiny pines they could find that hadn’t been ravaged by artillery fire, and made Christmas trees out of them.
Regardless if you believe in, practice or celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, December 24th, 1914 marks one of the most truly remarkable events in human history – the day when love and kindness conquered hate. It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t official. It wasn’t even condoned, but the men of those battles all spontaneously bucked authority in a great act of rebellion, during which not a single drop of blood was shed.
Can you imagine the courage of the first man to step out into No Man’s Land singing, not knowing whether or not he would be shot? Whoever he was, he literally risked his life, and he did so because he believed that the fundamental goodness of the human heart could triumph, even in the bleakest of circumstances.
There are some who say that it’s silly to take the messages of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic seriously – that it’s naive to think for a second that love, friendship, brotherhood, and kindness could ever outshine the evil and the corruption that all too often prevails in the world.
It happened. Not in Equestria, but right here on Earth, and during one of our darkest hours, no less.
My Little Pony didn’t invent the concepts of loyalty, honesty, laughter, kindness, and generosity. It celebrates the goodness which exists and has always existed in the human heart. The same goodness that inspired the men of the Christmas Truce of 1914 to carol and make merry with the people they’d been trying to kill. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has brought those virtues out in millions of people who have been touched by it, and that magic is very, very real.
Whether you are a neighsayer who thinks that being moved by the moral messages of the show is stupid, or simply somepony who wants to build a portal to Equestria, I implore you to reflect on this important event in human history. A portal to Equestria won’t give you access to the beautiful joy you feel when watching My Little Pony. That beauty is in all of us right here, right now – in real acts of kindness going on between friends and sometimes, even between enemies.
Almost one century ago, during one of the cruelest wars humanity has ever known, thousands of soldiers bravely bucked everything they had been told, and stood up for what they knew was truly good in the world – love. They came together in a spirit of friendship.
That’s as real as real can get. Brotherhood. Friendship. If that isn’t magic, then I don’t know what is.
This post is dedicated to all of those who are overseas right now. May you come home safe.