Community Opinion: The Amazing Life Lessons and Wisdom of Avatar
Airspeed Prime here once Again with another Community Opinion, this month is Community Opinion number 5, I came up with the idea of these posts to really add to the feeling that it is a community here in that it is not just the Mods/post Writers and Admin who get their thoughts on the Front Page.
With the recent influx of new members I look forward to seeing many new names on future Community Opinions.
This time the Topic I chose was: The Amazing Life Lessons and Wisdom Of Avatar- How it has affected you
I asked people to write about their favourite pieces of advice/life lessons from the show, how it affects us in real life and how the deep themes that the advice is about helps to make Avatar a Show for everyone not just for kids.
This Topic is an interesting one as it will really show just how into the show some people are, just how important it is to us Avatar fans how much it affects us even in our own lives.
Here are the thoughts of Our Community
Airspeed Prime (Moderator/Popular Post Writer/Facebook Administrator)
One of my favourite things about Avatar is how while it is humorous and all action at times, it is just as good when it looks at the deep underlying themes and presents us with great advice that can apply to our own lives not just the characters in the show. In terms of how the show has affected me, I have been into Avatar since it premiered so I was about 12 when I saw it first, I was immediately drawn in by the bending and interesting animation style but what really brought this show up to Best Show Ever for me was how honestly the characters dealt with problems and listened to advice and how deep this advice was. For me Avatar has in a way shaped me as a person, Aang has thought me to see the fun in everything and not take life so seriously which has really helped me get through stressful events like Tests and school stuff and just never feel down no matter what, my Upbeat attitude. All the advice in the show related to helping the character deal with the death of those close to them, Aang and his people, Sokka and Katara and their mom, has made me see that if someone I cared about died there is no need/point in being really upset about it, they are never truly gone and why would they want you destroying yourself over them, basically to not do what Aang does in The Southern Air Temple and almost hurt the people around you being so upset.
The advice of Huu and Guru Pathik about Everything being connected is deeply profound to me especially given how the world is these days with stuff like Wars over differences, race religion etc. “We are all branches of The Same Tree” from Huu is amazing, and so true, If everyone in the world just realised that we are all humans and we all live on the same planet, and while we are all individuals we are all made from the same stuff. All of Guru Pathiks advice to Aang when he is opening his Chakras is good.
“If you are to be a positive influence on the world you need to forgive yourself” this really shows that everyone makes mistakes and that realizing that they happen and accepting them and not letting the mistakes take over is the best thing to do.
Attachment, Aang’s whole journey is really about attachments and him managing them, he struggles to do this right up until the end. But When Pathik said he needed to let go he didn’t mean there and then , just so that if they got in the way of his duty as the avatar he would have to put duty to the world first, basically don’t let attachments control you.
Iroh’s constant advice to Zuko about him taking control of his destiny and not going with the one someone else chose for him is inspiring. For Zuko he let his mistakes define who he was, he made himself think he needed to be given his honour back but he just needed to let himself have his own honour back.
I have probably forgotten 1000 things but I think for me these are the most important pieces of advice from Avatar, the show has had a big Impact on my life, made me who I am today.
Well I think most of the advice is either from Iroh or the previous Avatars (:D)! My favorite piece of advice is from the lionturtle; ” A time before your bending, we used a different bending. Energybending”. I inferred that really violence leads to nowhere but crying”Â and bronken bones! Even just watching the emotional parts of ATLA, just softened me as a person! It’s also inspired me to drink more tea and meditate. Everyone just needs to keep their cool and NOT fly off the top! Toph has showed me to not let anything (for her it would be her blindess) get in the way of living the way you want live your life!”Â The wisdom will always be with me and help me through life!
There are several elements that distinguish -Avatar: the Last Airbender” from other similar animated shows, and they are its success reason. Much has been said about the maturity of themes touched by it and how a series at first aimed at children audience has generated a legion of followers and fans of all kinds and conditions, regardless of gender, age or race. Much of its appealing lies in the fact that the audience identify with the characters, comparing their experiences with audiences own.
As far as I’m concerned, some of my favourites episodes are where you can see Aang emotionally exposed: when he is angry or crying, when he falls in love with Katara and he thinks she doesn’t feel the same way, when he is defeated, when he feels that his friends will leave him, when he pleads for Katara’s life, etc. since from my point of view this gives Aang’s character more depth, and makes him more human. Throughout the series Aang not only evolves as Avatar, but like a person as well; and along the way the viewer keeps learning with him. You could transfer to real life almost all things that happen to Aang: frustration, sadness, anger, a friend or relative’s loss, personal failure and seeing how Aang overcomes these events you can find the inspiration to carry on getting over your own problems.
Continuing with my view of the show another thing that I think sets it apart from the rest besides the amazing action of fights, the plot development that keeps you stuck to the screen, the touching interaction between characters beyond all this you can find personal values that are transmitted by the show, what makes it more suitable, if such a thing is possible, for children audience, since they are developing like persons with moral principles. Several examples can be seen along the series, and everybody could learn something from them, not only kids but adults too. Some obvious cases or lessons for us are:
- Self-sacrifice: Aang surrenders to protect the Southern Water Tribe village. Ep.102); Yue gave her life to save the moon spirit (Ep. 120).
- Loyalty to friends: Our protagonists keep always taking care one of each others.
- Self-improvement eagerness: characters pursue improvement during all the series.
- Patience: Aang’s anxiety to master Firebending makes him hurt Katara (Ep.116).
- Compassion: Katara decides to help a whole village passing herself off as a spirit (Ep.303).
- Happiness in little pleasures of life: Something Iroh keeps doing all time, and of course Aang riding animals and other amusements.
- Forgiveness: The gang admits Zuko despite all he’s done (Ep. 312).
- Responsibility: When Aang wants to go into Avatar State despite he doesn’t feel prepared (Ep. 201)
- Violence as last resort: Aang doesn’t want to finish Ozai’s life (Ep. 318-321)
We could add a lot more but I think this enlightens what I’m saying, so think on something you’ve experienced and try to find the equivalent on the show, maybe there is a little -Guide for Life” hidden in Avatar: The Last Airbender”Â
ATLA has basically has some gem or variety of pearls of wisdom and great advice that the characters share and partake in their journey to throughout the series in each episode. The advice is practical, down to earth and easily applied to any of our experiences or lives From Aang’s innocent monk like reflections, to Guru Patik’s deeper spiritual teachings, to Uncle Iroh’s deep ruminating of experience and wisdoms to Katara’s encouraging speeches and Sokka’s comic reactions, to Toph’s wait and listen abilities that remind us that if we wait and listen we will see the whole picture rather than just rush in and make a bigger mess of things. Great gifts from all the other characters that share valuable information and teachings along the wayATA reflects everyday life in a more epic journey to growth and freedom. I find it really easy to relate to and often an inspiring and refreshing reminder in my day to day minutia of being there are sooooo many and it makes it really difficult for me to choose some to share, so here we go
Right from the start, we have Aang reminding Katara, “if you wanna be a bender, you have to let go fear”. Reminding us that fear can hold us back from doing anything offering fans the opportunity to not be held back by our own limitations. For me, living my dream I need to face my fears daily and take the step anyway. Which brings the next gem for me from King Bumi when he was a kid sharing with Aang -Instead of seeing what they want you to see, you gotta open your brain to the possibilities.” A mantra I find really helpful when I’m having a difficult day at work and not seeing the wood for the trees”Â
Another life changing and profound moment for me is when Uncle shares with Zuko, -You must never give in to despair Allow yourself to slip down that road and you surrender to your lowest instincts In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength” I’ve found this saying in my life to help when I’m getting depressed with life in general, how, it reminds me that only I can give myself hope to come out through the darkest moments of my mind and only I can gift myself the inner strength to not give up but to keep trying no matter how many times I get knocked down by the world, I can get up and keep trying
I enjoy all the teachings relating to the elements/emotions and experiences and how they affect the characters lives, and how to use them in their bending, offering us the opportunity to see how our day to day lives are also intertwined with the elements in our world. The cause and effect theme that runs through the program reminds us to that we have responsibilities and are accountable for our actions and what we do in this world and in this time. I love watching all the characters grow and deepen in their being, just as we as individuals grow and deepen in our being
Having studied/practiced many religions myself, I enjoy the spiritual aspects of this series – it’s deep closeness to Budhhist/Hindu philosophies and the Spirit Realms connection to the ATLA world, the balance issues and the genuine friendships, that are created as the series continues to it’s Epic finale consistently play on my emotions and eclectic esoteric nature. It offers me an escape from this world and all the worries and troubles I have, to immerse and relate to the characters as they journey towards peace and freedom, Something, we all struggle with often.
To finish from the words of the Great Lion Turtle. -The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light” for me this is what ATLA is all about, weathering all the lies and illusions of life, without being lost, having a true heart to touch poison of hatred & negativity within our world without being harmed, knowing that darkness is all around us yet will always yield to purifying light that we can be that light in this world with our actions/words and deeds, opportunities to bring hope when there is despair, laughter where there is sadness and love where there is hate, Peace where there is war Thanks ATLA, you’ve changed my life forever with the gift of being in our world in our time, and even though I know this, its wonderful to be reminded again and again as I watch the series over and over”Â
When I was asked to write my opinion, I thought this would be really easy and something I could definitely sink my teeth into. Sink my teeth into, oh yes. Easy, oh no, because no program has ever effected me as much as ATLA.
As everyone knows, Zuko is my favorite character, the reason being is that I can relate to him quite well. Throughout the whole series, you see how he struggles between the right and the wrong, but finally makes the right choice. So many of us have those struggles, so many of us do foolish things because we are trying to please someone, to get their love and respect.
You see right away that Zuko has honor. He let Zhao live. In the Winter Solstice Part 1, when he was searching for Iroh and he saw Appa, he made the decision to go after his uncle.
He also learns to be humble.
But this isn’t just a tale of the virtues of Zuko.
Iroh. There was so much more to Iroh, it was a delightful surprise. He taught unconditional love. No matter what Zuko did, he loved him. He was patient and understanding, but he also gave Zuko heck when he needed it, too. He also proves that even wise old men can make mistakes, too. He was capable of great love.
And then there is Sokka. The -normal” one of the group. He had the snappy comebacks, loves food and shopping, but he’d take on anything. He was brave. He went the distance, and there was something very moving when he confessed to Piandao that he was from the Southern Water Tribe. We saw a lot of growth with Sokka.
Toph was a toughie. She didn’t use her blindness as a weakness, she used it as her strength and survival. She was brave even in the face of danger, she was also willing to give Zuko a chance.
Ursa was a wonderful woman, she shows just how far a mother will go to protect her child. She gave up everything to keep her son alive.
Katara was the glue that held the group together, she was the heart of the group, the motherly type, but she didn’t take any crud either. Look at how she was when she saw Jet again and how much Zuko had to do to win her trust back.
She showed a great deal of strength when she faced her mother’s killer. It would have been so easy for her to off the guy, but she let him live, and I believe it’s because she was strong enough not to do it.
Ty Lee teaches a lesson as well, fear drove her to follow Azula, but when she saw that Azula was going to kill Mai, she stepped in. And with her skills, being a Kyoshi Warrior is perfect.
A lot can be learned from Aang as well. Despite the war, he still found the good in life. He was a kid with a huge responsibility, and was basically told he had to kill Ozai until the Lion Turtle told him different. He loved deeply, he was very accepting, and part of the joy was his laughter.
Lessons learned? No matter how old you are, you can accomplish something if you set your mind to it. They were a Motley crew and look at what they achieved.
You learn that being filled with hate will catch up with you, it will eat you alive. Look what it did to Ozai and Azula. Manipulating people will only take you so far, but it will come back to haunt you.
Wisdom comes from unexpected places. Toph came up with some gems, especially when Zuko joined the group.
Revenge will rot at your heart and soul, look at Hamma, she was a bitter old woman who had no love left in her heart which is sad.
To sum it up, Nice Matters and we all are connected, even us on the list. I could go on and on, but this isn’t a novel, but I think regardless if you are nine or ninety, you can get something from the show.
ATLA is not only an exciting and entertaining show; it contains many lessons that we can use in our day to day lives. We watch the characters grow and mature with each episode. One important lesson we learn is to always believe in yourself.
Aang struggles with this throughout the series. He faces his doubts and insecurities as he prepares to face the Fire Nation. As a 12 year old boy Aang learns that he is the Avatar. The world’s fate has suddenly been placed upon his young shoulders. As an understandably scared boy he ran away from the expectation; but upon returning a century later he can no longer hide from his destiny.
Aang is unsure of his abilities and doesn’t feel confident that he can master water, earth and firebending before it is too late. He seeks out the help of master benders to help prepare him. Fire is especially frightening to him; he burned Katara in one early attempt. Aang seeks out the advice of past Avatars to help him along the way. He builds confidence as he gains more skills as a bender.
In the days leading up to his battle Aang has intense nightmares about failing. They bother him so much he tries to stay awake until the fight is over. His friends encourage him and remind him of all of the hard work and dedication he has put in over the last year.
Aang faces Fire Lord Ozai knowing he is ready. He never gave up and he stayed true to himself in the process. And of course we all know he completely dominates Ozai.
Jordan / Administrator
This is one of the things I liked most about Avatar: The Last Airbender, a lot of the underlying morals / plots left people thinking “That just makes sense” whether it was the concepts of accepting everyone for who they are regardless of race, having the courage to stand up for what you believe in, the value of human life, the importance of friendship, the value of everyone regardless of abilities, and the list goes on and on.
Avatar was unique in it’s ability to be a relatively light and fun show yet touch on extremely deep topics that really can help teach people of all ages important lessons about life. In fact there are so many timeless quotes that I think a follow-up post to this would be a list of quotes that teach a lesson in Avatar.
Our Communities Thoughts
This topic really shows off how great of a show Avatar is, while on the outside it looks like a funs show with great humor, action, bending and animation. Look a little deeper and you see that this show is much more complex and deep. The amazing themes explored and lessons/advice makes this show fun and exciting and helpful for anyone no matter what age. There is some advice in the show that will help everyone.
See you next Month for Community Opinion 6, if you want your Opinion in the next post then just be active on the forum, I am always looking out for new members who are very active. I will PM those whose opinions I want around mid April. Also if you are a fan of the sites Facebook page there is a chance to get your opinion in there a few days before the post is put up on the site.
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