» Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! – Small Acts of Kindness

640px-Rainbow_glow_on_Rarity's_iris_S4E08 Source: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Season 4, Episode 8 – Rarity Takes Manehattan

My Little Pony goes out of its way to show how small acts of kindness – acts of friendship – change the world.  From Pinkie Pie’s smile philosophy, to the keys that unlock the Box O’ Harmony, little by little, the show has been building on a rather powerful message – that the little things make a big difference when you add it all together.

This is a truth that is just as powerful and important in real life as it is in Equestria, but we seldom get to see the full results of our actions, because magic here on Earth is a bit more subtle than it is on the show.

It’s hard to be a giving person – to be a virtuous person – when you don’t always feel like you’re making a difference.  That Every Mare for Herself attitude we see in Rarity Takes Manehattan?  It can come to feel like that’s all there is to life.  And when you judge your own actions only by the results that you can actually see, it is easy to come to the conclusion that only in Equestria can friendship really truly be magic.

But Pony isn’t just 85 happy-endings that happen for the sake of happy endings.  It’s deeper than that.  It’s showing us the better side of ourselves. What we can be.  It’s showing us a truth that we seldom get to witness in real life – the plain and simple fact that the little things can and do make a difference.

About nine years ago, my kids were a lot younger and needier, and I had to keep them occupied in the city while my wife took care of some important business.  We found ourselves at an overpriced Manehattan pizza shop and I was in the rather unfortunate position of having to tell my daughter that I couldn’t get her the type of pizza that she wanted because it was simply too expensive.  When I went to collect the slice, I found that it was not what I had ordered, but rather, what my daughter had actually wanted.  At first, I thought the pizza guy was trying to get me to pay for the more expensive slice, but he soon explained that it had already been paid for.

I only saw his back as he stepped out the door, and I never got to thank him, but a total stranger had overheard my conversation and had quietly picked up the bill.

I had an epiphany that day, and for years to come, whenever I felt down about the state of the human race, I remembered that small act of kindness, and thought of the millions of quiet gestures like it that people do every day without recognition, or expectation of it.  I thought of how somebody had brought a smile to my daughter’s face that he never even got to see.

I’m willing to bet that he, like so many of us, probably sometimes feels that it’s impossible to make a real difference in the world.

How could he possibly know that a $5 slice of pizza helped me turn my life around, and start actively getting out there and practicing random acts of kindness myself?

You may not get dazzling spectacles of light, and epic battles, and castles out of it, but when you reach out in kindness and friendship to your fellow man, you are still defeating a very real evil – the notion that goodness isn’t worth it – that we are powerless to make a difference.

It’s a fight that each one of us goes through everyday.

So whenever you are generous, kind, honest, funny, or loyal, and you feel drained because you think your efforts have been wasted, please take heart.  They haven’t.

I know this because somewhere out there there is a totally random guy who bought my daughter a slice of pizza back in 2005, and I still owe him a key.


You can follow Help My Heart is Full of Pony on Tumblr.  http://heartfullofpony.tumblr.com

Bronies for Good is doing a wonderful thing this summer – holding a good deeds drive to encourage people in the fandom to get involved in their communities in a sprit of volunteerism, and to get people sharing ideas on how best to make a difference. It’s this very spirit that really makes me love this fandom. Check out http://broniesforgood.org/2014/06/summer-o-good/ for more details 

» TRS Round Table 048: Inspiration Manifestation

Just how fabulous can you make something without going too far? Glad you asked us! The TRS Round Table is a group review, where we come together to discuss the goings on in ponydom. This week we’re talking about Inspiration Manifestation, the episode of Friendship is Magic that aired on April 26, 2014. Joining the Round Table today are Fizzbuzz, Niels Olof, ShieldedDiamond, Mr. Big, Pocket, and KefkaFloyd. Read on to find out what we thought.


» Chaos Theory: A Study in Discord

Today’s featured content is by first time contributor and forum member Mic Roe Pony!

Discord: The self-proclaimed “Spirit of Chaos and Dis-Harmony’” a character beloved throughout the Pony fandom, but why? What is it about this sociopathic chimera that draws so many to him? Is it his intriguing design, his Devil-may-care attitude, or perhaps his inspired taste in warping reality? Much like the many parts that make up his physical appearance, these are all parts of a greater whole.

With his recent reformation, Discord may prove to be more than the sum of these parts however; can you truly reform a force of nature? Or is Discord perhaps not as static in nature as we’d like to think? Read behind the cut to find out!


» Friendship is a Registered Trademark II: My Little Takedown Notice

It’s funny how things can sometimes change over a period of several weeks. Since last month’s article on intellectual property, “Friendship is a Registered Trademark”, a flurry of cease-and-desist and takedown letters has begun to land more firmly than ever before, with a marked intensification over the past week or two. Since our last article, well-established fanworks have seen their work taken down from YouTube, including Friendship is Witchcraft, the Mentally Advanced (Abridged) Series, and even (reportedly) AwkwardMarina’s posting of her “Anthropology” fan song. Meanwhile, the lesser-known equestriagirls.com site has received a letter from Hasbro’s legal department.

Together with some of the feedback gathered from comments on our last article, I have put together a series of updates about the status of Hasbro, intellectual property and the larger Brony community.


» When Green Isn't Your Color: Being a Colorblind Pony Fan

Friendship is Magic has a fantastic cast in Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie. They’re quirky, outspoken, neurotic, and nuanced. And colorful? Sure, I guess. There’s the blue one, the white one, the, um, the other blue one, the tan one, the…pale green one? This is harder than I thought. At least Pinkie’s got the answer right there in her name. When you look at My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic through the eyes of the colorblind, you gain a new understanding for how the show communicates its themes. Read on for more!


» So Why Do You Love This Show, Anyway? The Secret Ingredient of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Today on TRS we welcome aboard PictishBeast from our forums for his first-ever front page article.

“The Best Night Ever” is the 26th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but it’s the first episode I genuinely loved. What took me so long, and why do so many people just not “get” this show? Read on to find out.


» Friendship is a Registered Trademark

Last weekend, the makers of the fangame MLP:Online announced that they had been sent a cease and desist letter from Hasbro and had chosen to shut down production of the game. This sudden news has met with significant disappointment from the Brony community, especially given the comparatively blind eye that had been turned to other popular fan-games under production, like Fighting is Magic or My Little Investigations.

Was Hasbro finally turning on the fan-community it had helped to foster over the past two years by not strictly enforcing copyrights? Not exactly. MLP:Online spokesperson ToastyJustice, who had announced the closure of MLP:Online, made a point of mentioning that it was not copyright that had brought down the project, but trademarks. This is an important distinction, one which has ramifications for both Hasbro and fans alike.

Given the differences between copyright and trademark law, can we perhaps better understand what activities are more or less likely to earn Hasbro’s ire? Is this recent attack based on trademark law likely to prove to be the bane of the fandom? To learn more, read on…


» The Difficult Third Album

It’s now less than a week until the premiere of Season Three of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Boy, how far we’ve come.

It seems like only yesterday that we all were unhappy, cynical, entertainment-consuming Internet denizens who would never have given a second’s consideration to watching some new My Little Pony cartoon, no matter how edgy, ironic, or tongue-in-cheek its modern, Shrek-inspired incarnation might purport to be. Irony in 2010 was itself old news.

But that’s just two deceptively short years ago. For many of us, it’s difficult even to cast our minds back to the age Before Pony. Ever since then our familiarity with this immersive, earnest, magical show has deepened so fully and so rapidly that we can barely imagine our lives without it. And it’s all happened in less time than it takes many college students to decide on a major.

What’s next for the show? Some speculation inevitably follows the jump.


» The Power of Horse Compels You

In case you weren’t aware, My Little Pony is a show about ponies. Shocking, I know. You are watching a show that features an alternate universe where ponies rule, the predominant species of the land. Ponies of all colors in sizes, living in a land of horse puns, doing pony things, with pretty pony princesses. Pony should pony pony.

Some say that we watch the show in spite of the equine nature, but I don’t believe so. In fact, we’d be far less interested in the show if it wasn’t about horses. Read beyond the cut to find out.