I have a confession. I’m a Gen Xer who went my entire childhood without watching one episode of “My Little Pony.” I remember the commercials for the TV show and the dolls, but I just never got into it. When the Ponies made a comeback a few years ago, the wave missed me but seemed to sweep up a few of my family members. I’m not sure who enjoys the cartoons and dolls more, my brother, my sister or their kids.
Then yesterday happened.
As I hope you can tell, I’ve been working on intentionally cultivating my platform. A part of this process included creating a Facebook “public figure” page (if you haven’t liked it yet, stop by and see me!). On the page, I referenced my passion for helping others discover and pursue their purpose. After the page was launched, my sister sent me a message:
I must admit that I’ve prided myself on not knowing a lick about these ponies. But she had me at “Helping others find their purpose.” I was so intrigued that I threw caution to the wind, laughed at my bedtime and shouted, “To the Batmobile!” Okay, scratch that last part. Instead of going to bed, I found myself on Netflix, watching season 5, episode 20 of the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” series.
I won’t go deep into details, but this episode is called “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” (a play on “Raiders of the Lost Ark”). All ponies have a “cutie mark,” which represents their true talent. In this episode, the three Cutie Mark Crusaders are desperately trying out new activities, in hopes of discovering their true talent and finally getting their cutie mark. Though their efforts don’t result in them getting cutie marks, they realize that they’re really good at helping other ponies earn their cutie marks.
Spoiler alert! (Or not, if you’re not into the ponies…) At the end of the episode, the Crusaders realize that they find more fulfillment from helping other ponies earn their cutie marks than trying to earn their own. It’s at this moment that they finally earn their cutie marks. (Isn’t that kinda how life is sometimes? The minute you stop trying so hard for something, it finally works out for you…)
I couldn’t help to pause and think about the lesson that kids were learning from this show. They’re being encouraged to discover their talents and their purpose while also helping others do the same. This is my kinda show!
Being the inquisitive one that I am, I needed to know more about these Cutie Mark Crusaders. What was their backstory? Why was it so important for them to get cutie marks? It turns out that ponies that don’t have cutie marks were referred to as a “blank flank,” which is a derogatory term in pony-speak. The blank flanks found each other at another pony’s cute-ceañera (the celebration for a pony that has recently gotten their cutie mark) – after being publicly ostracized. These new friends formed a club (the Cutie Mark Crusaders) with the purpose of working together “to find out who we are, and what we’re supposed to be” (MLP wikia).
So now I’ve been sucked in. And that’s really all I can say about that. I guess, if you need me, I’ll be binge-watching “My Little Pony.” In the meantime . . . where are you on this journey? Have you earned your cutie mark, or are you still discovering who you are and what you’re supposed to be? If you’ve figured it out, are you helping others do the same?