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There are so many great things about Avatar: The Last Airbender: the characters, the episodes, the animation; the list of good qualities is endless. But another important aspect for me are the some of the quotes said by various characters. Not just the funny quotes, but the ones that can be carried over to the real world and can be applied to our own lives. The lessons Avatar teaches are also much bigger and deeper, not like the lessons you see on those kiddie shows like "sharing is caring" or "be friends with everyone".
Some of these inspirational, real-to-life quotes I have taken and used to motivate myself when I feel down or when I feel so confused or uptight about school. The lessons that can be learned from Avatar make it beyond just another "kiddie show" that only younger audiences can view. The many quotes about finding one's destiny, about unity and about loss can be applied to adults which is why it upsets me when people dismiss it as a kids only show.
These are just a few of the quotes that I find so captivating and amazing, in a way. They're the quotes that mean something. (I'm sorry if they're not exactly word-to-word):
|"We are all one people, but we live as if divided."|
|— Guru Pathik in The Guru|
|"We're all connected. Everything is connected."|
|— Aang in The Guru|
|"We're all living together, even if most folks don't act like it. We all have the same roots and we are all branches of the same tree."|
|— Huu in The Swamp|
These three quotes basically speak of unity and how we're all the same. In reality, no one is "better" than anyone else, but society has set standards anyway of what is considered superior and inferior. We have to come to the realization that we may be diverse, but we're still human beings and we can all trace our ancestry back to one source.
|"Even though you'll probably fail over and over and over again, you have to try to every time. You can't quit because you're afraid you might fail."|
|— Zuko in The Boiling Rock, Part 1|
This quote was a real inspiration for me. We're often so afraid that we'll fail at something that we give up before we even take the chance to achieve that goal. Nothing is easy in life, let alone living out one's dream, but you have to be willing to take a risk. It's the same as saying "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take".
|"It's time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big questions. Who are you? And what do you want?
|— Iroh in Lake Laogai|
|"You have the power to shape your own destiny."|
|— Aunt Wu in The Fortuneteller|
|"Iroh: I suggest you begin thinking about what it is you want from your life and why."
|— Iroh and Zuko in Lake Laogai|
These quotes concern destiny and fulfilling one's Personal Legend (taken from The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo). We're in control of our own futures and we shape our own destinies. No one can take charge of our future, but ourselves and that's why we have to make good decisions in life.
|"No! I will never, ever turn my back on people who need me!"|
|— Katara in The Painted Lady|
This is one of my favorite "Katara quotes". It just shows how strong and willing she is to defend and help people and it's one of her many "role-model" quotes. She expresses her fierce determination to aid people in need, something we can all do.
|"Zuko: You were right about what Katara needed. Violence wasn't the answer."
|— Zuko and Aang in The Southern Raiders|
Physical violence never solves problems. It's senseless and doesn't resolve anything.
|"I'm not looking for anyone's approval. I know who I am."|
|— Toph in The Tales of Ba Sing Se|
Society, for the most part, is all about being "cool" or "normal". People, especially adolescents, often go out of their way to be the popular ones, even if it means putting someone else down. They try to be someone they're not. One has to learn to accept themselves for who they are and not care what anyone else thinks of them. This is one of the quotes that conveys that message.
|"I know sometimes it hurts more to hope and it hurts more to care. But you have to promise me you'll never stop caring."|
|— Katara in The Serpent's Pass|
This quote is the truth. We'll sometimes pretend that we don't care about something especially when we can't have it. We'll try to act as though we never really cared about it. As Aang said in "The Serpent's Pass", it's not being strong, it's just running away from our feelings. People have a natural tendency to care about things and we can't really hold that back.
|"Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not."|
|— Iroh in City of Walls and Secrets|
This is another quote that speaks the truth. Life goes on no matter what. Some people may choose to ignore that fact, but the best thing we can do is make the most of our situation.
I'll stop there because, if I don't, I'll just go on and on. My main point, though, is that there are so many moral values to be learned from these characters. When people are asked where moral values and life lessons are learned from, the answer will probably be books, movies, or world events. Of course, those things teach us a lot, a whole lot. But who would've thought that one cartoon show on Nickelodeon, initially intended for kids, would also apply?