From Return of Harmony, Part 2

From Return of Harmony, Part 2

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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  • A sweet article. Nothing really I can say about this, except that it’s as enjoyable as all the rest: these articles are what I enjoy the most from this website :)

  • Anonymous

    A lot of things are illusionary. Money, power structures, belief systems… That doesn’t make them any less important or, in a broader sense, real. There’s nothing that requires magic to understand this.

  • Ckat_Myla

    Hear, hear. :D The ability to see the true friends from the false ones and choosing goodness over ‘coolness’ is something that a lot of people need to learn (especially those teens and tweens who think that being cool is so important… like I did back then)

    And thanks for using my favorite frame from that episode as the header for this article. ;P

  • SchRita

    It was worth it to get up today.

  • Boardgamebrony

    It’s incredible that this was posted on the exact day that I talked about the same topic to a Rowdy Rough Brony friend of mine. We had an amazing talk about friendship the last day of A-kon.

    Right now, I see a great need for love and friendship in the world. There’s strife of all kinds. Disagreements. Misunderstandings. Pride. Unforgiveness.

    But what we need more than anything is an ounce of mercy to give more weight to our relationships in life. An ounce of mercy is worth more than a pound of hate.

    But kindness, true heartfelt love, is a tough flower to cultivate. There are forces all around that threaten to wreck the gardens we build for others.

    There was a time where every day at work felt like a friendship test. A cold customer. Suffocating policy. These invisible walls tested me everyday. And I would be tempted to put down the shield and pick up a sword of strife just to voice how I felt about all those who pushed me down, walked over me and made it hard for me to be who I am with a heart that cares so much about others.

    But I didn’t do it. I didn’t pick up that sword.

    Who protects others when we fight unnecessary battles? Who wages quiet opposition to the forces of oppression in the world when others are busy seeking retaliation on both real and imagined hurts?

    I prefer shields to swords any day. A shield is broad. It is a source of strength and great defense to the disempowered and the weakened. A shield is a reminder of protection. It can reflect and force an attacker to see themselves in their harshest form. A shield takes strength, determination, stubbornness and commitment to maintain a defense. But most importantly, a shield preserves life.

    At first, when you hold up a shield, it can be heavy. You might get tired from resisting the might of others. Your shield might fall. It happens to us sometimes. But if you devote ALL your strength to defending others, rather than holding that sword in one hand and waiting to strike, then all of your resources will help you hold up a stronger defense. And little by little, you get stronger and you can hold your shield longer.

    A lone defender can inspire others to protect what’s important to them. And friendship must be fed and protected more than anything else I can imagine.

    This world needs more shield-bearers.