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Let me begin this blog post by saying that I lived ten years of my live (K-4th grade) in a foreign country in Europe called Bulgaria. It was a tough place to live in, and tough places come hand by with troubles and disappointments. Bulgaria was a place in which the so-called Honorary system was considered an easy way to steal something. The kids were out of control and had no respect for elders and teachers. And elders and teachers responded the same way - no respect towards children. It was a place where the teacher would say the name of a person and yell out their grade when passing out papers. And teasing the person was encouraged by the lack of correction from the teacher's side. The fact is teachers sometimes used the fear of their students from being embarrased against them.
Then, when I was ten, I moved to the United States of America. It was a place that was the very opposite of Bulgaria. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. The children were very different, but it wasn't because they had "grown up". It was because they were living in a much more advanced country. I had never heard of eleven year olds going out on a date in my life. And if I had a list of what I wouldn't let my children do when they were in 5th grade, that would have never even crossed my mind to put that on there. And it seems that now, if I am to ever make such a list, it will be the subtitle of it, written in all caps. But why? Because children this age lack the maturity, understanding and continuation of their feelings - you like someone today, you break up with them tomorrow.
This is also followed by the mania of being cool - boys making sure they looks special (buying expensive shoes etc.) so girls can like them (they want fake and temporary feelings toward them), 12 year old girls putting on make-up for their everyday life (goes on my "DO NOT LET DO" list), making fun of other kids brutally and pushing them to become like you, and many other things.
Another of showing their "maturity" is calling teenagers a category, but not a subcategory that falls under children. Reworded: Teenagers think they aren't children anymore, but extremely cool because they aren't 12 years and 364 days old, but 13 years old (":o Wow. You're so cool!"). Then being a nerd. So studying makes you a nerd? Not drinking or smoking makes you a soft whiny? Not cussing like it's an everyday thing makes you a coward? Telling an adult of an injustice makes you a whiny? I don't think I ought to continue on this topic, because I'll list a lot of things parents don't want to hear.
And now for the kids of the world of Avatar: The kids of the world of Avatar may have many faults and misfortunes, but they are, by far, more mature than many of the adults we see these days. They have felt the loss of some of the most important people in their life (Aang looses the Air Nomads; Katara and Sokka loose their mother, and their father goes away; and more examples can be found). They have felt the lack of much, and the responsibility of saving the world. And, honestly, I do not envy them, but I have to admit that if I am ever to choose friends, I would choose the type that has been through more. The ones that are honest, clever, stand their ground, understanding, realistic, and most importantly like you for who you are (not what you wear, what you look like etc.). Many of these traits are seen in the characters of Avatar, especially the last one. And this is my idea of the differences.
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