The Importance of Friendship (or Friendship is Awesome)

Friendship is magic!

It’s winter vacation and I have a 3.5 year old daughter which means that, instead of finishing up a peer review of a book last night, I was watching the My Little Pony movie.  (That gif above actually captures my daughter’s expression as she asked me to watch the movie and my response)

So, full disclosure, I am actually a pretty big My Little Pony fan.  I’m a lot like Apple Jack, the orange horse, “raised in a barn” (it’s a joke in the movie). Apple Jack is honest and hard working, empathetic and caring, and she likes to eat.  I mean, she pretty much represents me.

[Movie spoilers ahead]

Anyways, the plot of the movie has to do with Twilight Sparkle (purple pony pictured above) who is the Princess of Friendship, but has doubts about the power of friendship.  She sees herself as less than the other princesses (of the sun, moon and stars) and is worried that the festival of friendship she has coordinated won’t turn out perfectly.  Enter the bad guy & his mean pony side kick (Tempest) who has her own trauma around friendship (she is a unicorn who lost her horn then subsequently got abandoned by her friends in childhood).  Eventually, after meeting a singing cat, a singing band of pirates, and some singing mythical underwater hippogryphs (there’s a lot of singing), Twilight Sparkle and her friends get in a fight.  You see, the hippogryphs have a magic pearl that could be the key to saving TS’s land of Equestria, and just as the hippogryphs seem ready to lend over the pearl through the friendship that they’ve established with the ponies, TS is caught trying to steal the pearl and they’re all banished to an island where TS’s pony friends (Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy), hurt by TS’s betrayal, not only of them, but of the power of friendship, take a minute, to reflect on the true meaning of their friendship.  At this exact moment, the antagonists’ henchmen come and capture Twilight Sparkle, taking her away.  Anyways, long story short, eventually, friendship saves the day, and TS learns that not only does she need to trust herself, but that friendship has the power to save us all (well, except the actual king bad guy who gets turned into stone and cracks into several pieces at the end–but the rogue pony ends up okay).

[End movie spoilers]

Even though, I’m much more of an Apple Jack IRL, I relate to Twilight Sparkle’s plight.  It’s hard not to have imposter syndrome sometimes, and it’s hard to trust in friendship when sometimes you feel like all the responsibility to get things done is your own. But, in the end, it’s friendship that makes life worth living, that brings us joy, and that can save us and our society.  If we can just connect with those that seem so different from us, our world can be so much more awesome.  It’s time to be awesome (it’s from the movie, which is now replaying this morning).

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