We all remember our favorite shows that we watched as little kids. I remember a lot of them, but "Avatar: The Last Airbender" has continuously left a mark on me. When I was little I probably just watched it in hopes of becoming a bender myself. I mean, what little kid wouldn't want to have crazy abilities and control some of Earth's elements? As I got older and my nostalgia grew, I went back to watching it.
In the 10-plus times that I've re-watched the series, I've gained more and more of an appreciation for the profound moments and conversations that occur. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the series and why they leave such an impression on me:
1. "Time is an illusion, and so is death." - Huu
We often fall into trouble with our emotions over certain subjects, especially with time and death. Both can be considered relative and all exist in a realm together. This means that there really is no end or beginning, slowness, or fastness; it is all one.
2. "It is time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big questions: Who are you? and What do you want?" - Iroh
Once we can finally reflect on our daily lives and our experiences and look inward, we can truly discover a lot. When we ask ourselves difficult questions, we become accustomed to figuring out more posing issues. Being able to understand our personal goals and purposes can be a huge motivator.
3. "Tui and La, the moon and ocean, have always circled each other in an eternal dance. They balance each other. Push and Pull. Life and Death. Good and Evil. Yin and Yang." - Koh
Finding the balance between dark and light, or two tenacious beings, is how we find the balance in our lives. If one element overpowers the other, the unbalance creates instability
4. "The greatest Illusion of this world is the illusion of separation. Things you think are separate and different are actually one and the same. We are all one people, but we live as if divided." - Guru Pathik
So many past and current societies can draw from this. Often, even in the smallest of relations, everyone feels as if there is separation and division. We all are united as one with a similar origin of creation. The power behind being united creates unfathomable power that can be used in growth.
5. "We can't concern ourselves with what was: we must act on what is." - Gyatso
If we constantly worry about what has happened, we will fall into a trap of never improving on ourselves. The only notion that we can act on is the now, the current moment in which we are present. Make this moment, and every one to follow, the best moment that you have ever lived.
6. "It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If you take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale. Understanding others will help you become whole." - Iroh
This goes hand in hand with quote number four. Having an array of connections to others and various sources yields incredible insight. If we become close-minded, we close off understanding so much about our world. Being open to new concepts allows us to develop into our full selves as understanding beings.
7. "The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." - Lion Turtle
We do not believe in lies, we believe in invalid truths. A lot of life is filled with senseless information. Once we can learn to not allow it to cloud our minds, everything becomes easier. We can relate this voidness of darkness as well. No matter how dark and mysterious the void is, light will always find its way to overtake it.
8. "Instead of seeing what they want you to see, you got to open your brain to the possibilities." - King Bumi
When we close our minds off to opportunities, we close ourselves off from so much knowledge. Knowledge is the most powerful trait that we possess, so take advantage of it and open up to new realms.
9. "You can't wait around for someone to help you. You have to help yourself." - The Painted Lady
The problem with sitting around and letting emotions flood our minds is that it hurts us. The only way to pull out of a rut is to make improvements every day and continue to push forward.
10. "Sometimes life is like this tunnel. You can't always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." - Iroh
It does not matter where you are currently in life, the only thing that does matter is that life is a journey, so enjoy it and find the light at the end of the tunnel. Move forward and continue to find your own way.
11. "When you are filled with pride, you leave no room to be filled with wisdom." - Iroh
Too often we find ourselves on a pedestal, put there by ourselves. The more humble that we can become, the more genuine and compassionate we will be.
I learned a lot from "Avatar: The Last Airbender." Maybe this isn't your nostalgic childhood television series, but I think it is worth checking out. You should be in control of your own life and destiny, so make it happen. Other than a fascinating and captivating storyline, I learned that I would be an Earthbender. What element would you master if you had the chance?