Is Hope a Distraction?

Picture taken from
Picture taken from

Before I begin, here is a bit of background information on the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. This information is crucial to the understanding of this blog post:

  1. The Avatar series is awesome.
  2. Aang is an avatar in the sense that he can manipulate all four elements (water, fire, earth, and air).
  3. The avatar talked about in this blog post is in no way related to James Cameron’s Avatar (2009).
  4. Appa is a really cute creature that can fly but doesn’t have wings.
  5. As avatar, Aang has to help people and restore balance to the world.

Now….let’s start…..

In “The Serpent’s Pass,” episode 12 (Book 2) of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is in turmoil because he has been separated from his lifelong friend and air bison Appa. In his grief, Aang has to find a way to control his emotions and focus on the task at hand—helping a group of travelers reach Ba Sing Se. Angry because he still has not found Appa, Aang gives himself one piece of advice, “hope is a distraction.” Even though Aang goes on to recant his opinion later in the episode, Aang’s words have stayed with me. They made me wonder if hope really was a distraction.

This is not to say that hope is bad, it just made me wonder if I was using hope as an excuse to not follow through on my goals. Take as an example the ominous paper or midterm we have to write/study for. Is the hope I have of finishing my paper distracting me from finishing it? Is thinking that I’ll eventually study for my exam keeping me from studying now? These thoughts made me wonder where the boundary was between having hope and depending on hope.

Yes, sometimes all we can do is depend on hope. Hope is what gives us motivation and spirit when the skies seem too dark and the clouds too gloomy. This hope, the hope that you need when there is nothing else left to hold on to, is a certain kind of hope, an essential part of ourselves. Today, I am asking you to think about a different kind of hope. The kind of hope that you can turn into action.

Ask yourself these questions and more.Have you been hoping your laundry will get done instead of getting it done?Have you been hoping your dishes will get washed instead of washing them? Are you depending too much on this kind of hope?



Posted by Gabriela

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER and all related titles, logos and characters are ™ and © of Viacom International Inc. 2005–2008. All Rights Reserved. Original Presentation 2005–2008 Nickelodeon.


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