My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was one of those shows I was a little unsure about watching. I mean, I watch anime, play video games, cosplay, go to conventions, etc. but…My Little Pony…Really? REALLY?
I didn’t get into the show until after one year at Anime Weekend Atlanta. We were hanging out watching all of the formal cosplays go into the gala. While we were watching, I really and truly saw some of the most breathtaking My Little Pony cosplays. There is so much creativity in the Brony community. It really impressed me and made me curious about the show.
After the con, I watched all three seasons that were available on Netflix and LOVED it. The writing was pretty good, the characters were so likable, and the show did a good job of telling an interesting story without having a whole lot of drama. It was refreshing and encouraging to watch a well done show where characters were building each other up instead of tearing each other down for entertainment value. The show is so positive without feeling forced or fake.
The pony I admire most in the show is Fluttershy.
She represents kindness in the elements of harmony. I think I am so drawn to her because she has so many qualities key to Christianity that I personally wish would come easier to me. She is patient, understanding, merciful, compassionate and, of course, kind.
My favorite episode is the two-parter “The Return of Harmony.” I think Fluttershy’s character really shines in that one. In the episode, the ponies face a new enemy, Discord. After he is released from his imprisonment in stone by absorbing the power from an argument between three ponies, he steals the elements of harmony. He then has the Mane Six run through a labyrinth that tests each of their elements. He separates them, and then confronts them individually to manipulate them into going against the element they represent and their friends. Applejack (honesty), Rarity (generosity), Rainbow Dash (loyalty), and Pinky Pie (laughter or joy as I like to think of it) all chose to go against their elements. He did not manipulate Twilight Sparkle (Magic) as the power of her element comes from the combination of the other elements. Only Fluttershy could stand against Discord.
Each time he tries to manipulate Fluttershy into hating or resenting her friends, she disarms his statements with understanding, trust, and appreciation for their actions and friendship. After multiple attempts to convince her to turn against her friends, he gives up.
In his frustration, he finally uses magic instead of manipulation to sap the power of her element.
The fact that meek, timid Fluttershy could stand against Discord, this master of chaos and deception who easily brought down the rest of the ponies, is so powerful to me. It makes total sense because in real life, kindness overcomes discord.
There is a certain kind of power in kindness that’s different from what would normally be considered powerful. It mends instead of conquers, inspires instead of controls, and heals instead of destroys. Even though Fluttershy can’t stand and fight like the other ponies, she has the power to calm and bring harmony to a situation.
We can see this power the first time her element manifests itself in the second episode in a simple, yet effective, scenario. After all of the other members of the Mane Six try and fight a giant manticore and get knocked down, Fluttershy tries a different strategy. She finds out the beast is hurting and helps him by pulling a thorn out of his paw. Twilight Sparkle stands in awe at what she believes to be intuition, but Fluttershy explains that it was merely an act of kindness.
Twilight Sparkle: How did you know about the thorn?
Fluttershy: I didn’t. Sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness.
I wish I had this automatic response. When I run in to a chaotic situation with people who are less than pleasant, my first response is usually anger. I want to defend my side, my point if view, my own interests, but the answer isn’t always to fight. I would say the answer is rarely to fight because other people are not our true enemy and that is not who Christians are called to be anyway.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I think if I took a second to stop and actively chose to be kind regardless of the actions of the other person, I would get along a lot better in my walk. Fluttershy seems to have that down pat. That’s why I admire her so much.
Editor’s Note: Check out Taylor’s wonderful series of posts about My Little Pony and Christianity.