My brothers and I decided to watch Avatar ( the last air bender again) and it was a totally different experience. I started watching Avatar as a kid. I think I saw my first episode on Nickelodeon when I was eight.
At that time, all I cared about were the fight scenes and beating up the bad guys. Watching it again with my Bros was a totally different experience. It brought back old memories and it was even more fun than I remembered it to be.
Watching it again felt a whole lot different because I got to understand the characters better and I realized that it was more than just bendings and wars.
I understood each character better and decided I was going to write about what I learnt from Avatar.
Avatar the last Airbender has a lot of lessons scattered around the three seasons. There are lessons on love, life, friendships, awareness and meditation. I found that it is very easy to just get carried away by all the action and forget that besides the wars, there a whole lot going on within the characters.
If you haven’t seen Avatar, you might want to watch it through this download link because there would be a lot of spoilers. No kidding.
5 lessons I learnt from Avatar the last air bender
There is joy in the little things and in a simple lifestyle:
This is one of the most important lesson I learnt while watching Avatar from the first episode to the last. Right from the first episode, Zuko’s uncle Iroh exhibited lesson 1.
Iroh is a calm character. Even in the worst situations, Iroh kept a calm head and he prioritized peace and enjoyment over fights or wars. At first Iroh looked somewhat unserious but as the movie progressed I realized that Iroh was a wise old man.
He did try to teach Zuko the beauty in a simple lifestyle but Zuko had too many unresolved battles within him.
Iroh derived Joy from the simplest things like having good conversations with strangers, making tea, relaxing and taking warm baths.
He really wasn’t into the trying to take over the world like his brother. All he wanted was to be happy. While watching the movie, I realized that Iroh was happy even during the worst moments. And when things got really tough, he still maintained that aura of positivity.
As he revealed in second season and third season, all he wanted was to own his own teashop. He wanted to serve people the best tea and that was what he pursued.
In so many ways, while trying to compete or impress we lose ourselves.
The simple lifestyle teachings can also be seen in Aang himself. He was raised by the monks who lived live simply and taught him the beauty in friendships and relationships.
Honestly, I think most times we forget that as much as the big achievements matter, the little things matter too. Most times we forget that there are more little things than there are big things. Finding happiness in the little things that happen everyday helps us feel more fufilled.
The best part of Avatar was that while Aang and his friends travelled around the world because of the war, they still had fun. They went on vacations and enjoyed every moment of being together.
check out my review of the book, All the bright places
By blaming ourselves for the past, we hinder our growth.
Throughout the movie, I noticed how much Aang suffered from self blame and guilt. He constantly mentioned how he failed the world and how he could have saved the Southern and northern air temples if he had not disappeared.
Blame is a form of negative energy and it prevents us from seeing the positives in situations. I mean what if Aang didn’t run away? What if he was present and he died in the invasion because he didn’t know how to bend water or Earth or fire? Since the air nomads didn’t believe in attacking, he could have died with them and there would have been no one to save humanity.
I know it’s hard to find reasons to be grateful but it’s much better to be grateful than to blame. Aang disappearing was the best because by the time he came back, he had friends who helped him survive, learn, grow and save humanity.
Aang self blame almost cost him a lot because he made silly decisions and oftentimes, he entered state and almost destroyed people with it.
The first step to moving on and forging ahead is to accept that we are humans and we are not perfect. We would make mistakes. But those mistakes don’t necessarily define us, it is the lessons we pick up from the mistakes that matter.
Also we must remember that there is no point in stressing over things we can’t change. The best thing is to move forward and learn from our mistakes. Growth is moving forward and learning from the past.
Forgiveness is important for you
Katharah depicted this lesson when she learnt to forgive Zuko. In season 3, after Zuko had found his path in life, he wanted to earn and katharah’s trust. He decided to help her find the man who killed her mother.
In their Journey, Katharah realized that revenge wasn’t enough to give one happiness. She found out that forgiveness helps you feel better than it helps the one you are forgiving.
What most people don’t realize is that when they decide to not forgive a person, they hurt themselves more. I picked up this lesson first when I had a fallout with my friends during A’levels.
I realized that I was hurting myself by not forgiving for the mistakes all of us made. Forgiving myself and forgiving them gave me peace.
Forgiveness is more important for you than for the other person you are forgiving. If you choose not to forgive, you would only hurt your own peace. The other person may not even know they hurt you.
You don’t need other people’s Validation to be happy
Right from the first episode of the movie, Zuko’s need to get Validation from his father caused him a lot of pain. Even though Zuko had his Uncle Iroh who showed him the love he desperately craved from his father, he couldn’t see it. It was because he thought he needed Validation from the fire nation and his father to be happy.
Zuko thought capturing the Avatar and handing him over to his father would make him more happy. Even after he helped his sister take over the greatest earth kingdom city and got his ticket home by betraying his uncle, he wasn’t happy.
It was at that time he realized that his father wasn’t going to love him no matter what he did.
Like Zuko, many of us live our lives trying to get our parents validation or the society’s validation. We follow all the rules and do as we are told and try our best to impress but the society would readily break us if it gets the chance.
We seek Validation in so many ways, it could be by getting the best grades or getting married early or chasing money with all we have.
However, it is better to care less about what people would think about us. The most important thing is what we about ourselves. Before doing anything, it’s important that we search within ourselves to know if we are happy doing it. Or to know if it would affect our plans or what we think of ourselves.
Have you seen the Anohana rated as one of the most emotional animes? Check out my review of Anohana, the flower we saw that day.
You can’t learn everything alone, you need a master.
From learning water bending to learning earth bending and fire bending, Aang always needed a teacher.
Trying to learn how to do things by yourself takes time. When you have a mentor or a teacher, you learn faster and you might be able to avoid the mistakes they made.
Although I did learn more than five lessons, I only wrote five. I wrote down about sixteen lessons I learnt and I might choose to share the rest later.
If you remember any scenes from Avatar that you would like to share lessons from, please leave a comment.