Recently I heard somepony say that friendship was an illusion. I can see how one might think that. Life is, after all, not without its betrayals and double dealings. People hurt you, people let you down. People you thought you could trust turn around and stab you in the back.
When you’re bogged down, and find yourself surrounded by that sort of behavior, real friendship can seem like something out of a fairy tale. I imagine that the idea of it actually being magic must seem even more implausible under those circumstances.
However, just like magic in the show requires study and practice, real friendship—good friendship—takes work and dedication. Most of all, it takes tough choices.
If Rainbow Dash had chosen Gilda over Pinkie—if she had chosen Lightning Dust and ambition over her own moral code, then before long, she too would find herself lamenting the falsities of friendship -proclaiming that all who believed in its magic were naive, or as Gilda would put it “lame.”
But Rainbow Dash didn’t. She had the courage to say “no.” To decide that it’s better to be good than to be cool. So she ended up with friends who, like her, value goodness.
We are the products of our circumstances and our choices. Some of the bad things in our lives legitimately cannot be fixed. That’s circumstance. But if you find yourself surrounded by betrayal and deceit, you might do well to look around and ask, “How did I get here?”
“Why do I spend time with these people?”
“Are there other friendships that I could have cultivated instead? Good people more worthy of my time, devotion, and attention?”
Friendship—real friendship—takes work and sacrifice to maintain. It is important to recognize that good friends make those sacrifices as well as take them. If you want to feel the magic—to live the sorts of friendships you see in the show—you have to not only be willing to give as well as take, but also to surround yourself with others who value that sort of integrity as much as you do.
Friendship is not an illusion. It’s an energy—a spark, as Twilight Sparkle put it. It is a bond that lights up our individual darkness and pulls us out of our shells—shows us love, teaches us forgiveness, and gives us strength. It is a source of power, and, of course, a very serious, (and dare I say, sacred) responsibility—to look out for those who care about you, no matter what the cost.
Friendship is magic. It really really is. People make incredible sacrifices out of love for one another, and it happens every single day.
You can have that magic in your life. It takes a little wisdom, and a lot of work, but friendship is real, and it can be yours with time, patience, and effort.
So if you find yourself despairing, feeling alone, or just plain cynical about the value of friendship, open up your eyes. Be prepared to make some tough decisions. Learn to tell the difference between your Gildas and the people in your life that matter.
Because life may be very short, and the world may be very harsh, but there is still magic to be experienced—a beautiful, beautiful magic we call friendship. The world needs as much of it as we can get.
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