Many many fans have confessed to having found the lessons of My Little Pony to be surprisingly useful in moral predicaments. The show has a remarkable knack for taking themes in moral philosophy and distilling them to their most basic components – exposing the plain and simple truths underneath, and demonstrating them in ways that even children can grasp. What a lot of us have discovered is that, when it comes to the human heart, this elegance – this purity – is exactly what we need. It wipes the scales from our eyes. It invigorates our belief that we can be forces for good in the world. That kind of inspiration and proactive energy is precisely why we have collectively raised over $100,000 for various charities (in 2012 alone), and why so many individual fans have found that their love of Pony has made them happier, healthier people.
But here’s the thing: friendship can be complicated; life can be complicated. Sometimes you get stuck in a lose-lose situation, or faced with a friendship problem that can’t be solved with a simple apology.
I have found myself at times wishing that there was a Letter to Celestia that would sum up a particular problem I was having, (and present an easily applicable solution to it). However, the show is not a handbook to life, or even to friendship. It is not intended to be.
What it is is a doorway – an invitation to a new way of thinking – a reintroduction to that aforementioned purity of heart. Use it as such. If you find yourself in one of those tricky situations, a direct lesson from the show may not be able to help you, but that optimism, that hope, and that purity can.
In the latest episode, Twilight Sparkle graduated to a new level of study and took a blind leap into the great beyond. The magic of friendship is not the sort of thing that can be taught through apprenticeship for very long, even if your teacher is somepony as old and wise as Princess Celestia.
The show has much to teach us, but we can’t look to it for literal guidance in all things any more than Twilight can look to the Princess for a lifetime of hoof-holding. (For starters, that would lead to disappointment in the show itself, and worse yet, in our lives). This may seem like a fairly obvious statement, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own enthusiasm sometimes and lose perspective.
It’s okay to look to the lessons of the show for guidance, but it’s better to look inside at that feeling it gives you (your ponyjoy – that spark of friendship “that lives in the heart of us all”) – for inspiration.
A spark that does not kindle a fire is just a flash. It comes, it goes. When you look at your present predicaments or future uncertainties, you have to use that joy that the spark of friendship ignites in your heart. You need to become that light if you are to look ahead and know what it is that you have to do.
You need to write your own magic.
The show may not be able to write it all for us, but hay, it makes us smile, and it makes us cry, and it gives us the warm feeling (and the strength) we need to pick up that quill and give it a shot. When you think about it, with all of that in your arsenal, you’re already more than halfway there.