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Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Little Toy Shop

"By something really strong. It seemed very weird and wrong. It just doesn't belong like it came out of this world."
September - The Living Tombstone & Mic the Microphone

Dear Princess Celestia,

I've noticed that you don't talk about family much. Other than Luna and Cadence, everypony would love to know who your parents were. A family history is nothing to be ashamed of unless it's full of abuse and hate. A good history is one to be proud of, and a rough history is one you can be happy to have survived. That's just a little food for thought. I learned that appreciating your family is important no matter how they treat you. Never bring hierarchy into an argument. A family is a unit of people who should love one another not because they must, but because they know and accept each others' differences.

I haven't written to you in a while and I apologize for not doing so. It's been a busy week and there is so much that I have learned.

Let me just start by saying how things have turned over in the past few weeks. I've basically lost my social life since I became more interested in the magic of friendship lately. I'm not blaming you or anyone else, but I have some advice to offer since you're principal of your own school for the most gifted of unicorns.

Gifts certainly are half the battle. When you discovered Twilight's gift, it was really lucky. You happened to be around to see the drama. I'm sure a lot more things happen during entrance exams that may have gone unnoticed, but a dragon through the roof must have been something out of the ordinary. Needless to say, some ponies have more talent that others. That's the whole idea of a cutie mark, isn't it?

I've been bitten by the competition bug. University life is hectic and I can understand how Twilight needs such a concise schedule to keep up with it all. I do wish education here would be like that. What used to be a pursuit of knowledge has now turned out to be a mess of information. Nopony cares about what we think any more. Instead we've gone deep into a system where we have to believe in what others' have written. It's like the library has become our new god. Don't get me wrong, dear Princess. I don't condemn the works of the previous generations and how much work they've put into the pursuit of knowledge. If it wasn't for the scholars like Star Swirl the Bearded, much of today's magic in Equestria would have been yet to be discovered.

The competition bug changes the game. Knowledge is no longer top priority. Nopony cares if you're truly into the game just to be good at it. Nopony cares about how much passion you have to be inquisitive. Why? Because we're in a race. We're fighting with one another.

Grades were probably once thought to be a foolproof way of negotiating where we stand. Instead of honoring the diligent, it created a divide. It's divided us into groups that almost cannot mingle with each other. Thus we have superiority and inferiority. Those who are technically "Smart" become successful and on the other hand, the ones who fall into the "Stupid" range are failures and will never make it far in life.

However, The reason I am put into university isn't because my mentor is putting me on some lifelong learning journey. Instead of venturing into a new territory and learning new things, we're put onto a beaten path with twists and turns that lead to dead ends and traps. My job isn't to find new things or to seek a new, undiscovered road. The job is to get to the end first without running into any booby traps or dead ends. Finish the race. Nothing else counts.

The best part about all of this is that we can't get out of it. Starlight and Crescent Sparkle must have forked out a lot of money for Twilight to study in your school, but I believe that is one of the best investments possible. Here, we're given a rank. It isn't about how much knowledge you leave your degree with, but rather how well one can follow instructions.

All I can say, dear Princess, is that you don't let this happen in Equestria. Canterlot University may be prestigious, don't let it create a divide between ponies. Even the already existent racial divide among pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies is staggering. Sure most of it was overcome during the Hearth's Warming, but it's still there. It may be interesting to take a stroll around in Canterlot town square or the Ponyville marketplace. Ponies are still divided in a sense. A transformation scroll from the Star Swirl the Bearded wing of the library may help, since I recall one of my friends bumping into one when she was there.

Division is a bad, bad thing. It's what divided ponies once and even though we may have gotten over racial differences to an extent, it doesn't necessarily mean that nothing else can divide us. Unity, diversity and harmony are essential to make the magic of friendship come alive. It takes more than just magic to keep up together. Once again, it all boils down to accepting one another. Yes you're hearing it again. We're no longer here to put aside our differences, but to embrace them as what makes us who we are and to make up for each others' weaknesses with our individual strengths.

I'm sorry if I wrote a little too long this time and I hope this finds you well. Sending letters via candlelight isn't as quick as dragon breath so I've heard, but It's all that I've got.

Love,
D.A.niel

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