When we normally hear or read about life lessons, we often associate it with material pertaining to adults. We hardly think or believe that life lessons can be taught from children’s programmes. If we look closer, we can be truly mistaken into thinking that life lessons can only be taught from adult books, movies and television. One such programme that is intended for children, but can share both wisdom and lessons most fruitful to life for adults, is Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Introduction to the Series

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a 3 season series rooted in concepts that date back to the philosophy of Buddhism. As a synopsis, the story follows a reincarnation in the form of a 12-year old boy in his journey to master the 4 elements of air, water, earth and fire, with the help from his past lives and friends to restore balance to a war torn chaotic world (Amorino, 2020).

The following text will reveal content that expresses life lessons available to even adults.

Family History Does Not Define You

Family may be very influential in our lives, especially being the first group we are introduced to when we are born and grow up with. When looking up to and idolising family members, we are easily influenced and pressured to follow their paths. This programme teaches us the valuable lesson that we, and we only, actively shape our path and our future. Our family traditions, beliefs, ideologies, and history, does not define who we are (Steele, 2020).

Letting Go to Move Forward

As certain ideologies, past mistakes and attachments characters in the Avatar universe have that holds them back from reaching their full potential, so do they hold us from moving towards potentiality. This programme teaches us that even though it is very hard, letting go and giving up everything that holds us back is the best and possibly the only way to progress forward in life.

There is Always Hope

No matter how things may be, or seem difficult, there is always hope waiting at the end of the journey. The following quote explains that despite going through a rough and dark journey in our lives, being motivated by hope and pressing forward will eventually lead us to a better place (Gaines, 2019).

Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel, you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you just keep moving, you will come to a better place” – Iroh.

Change is Possible

Despite making past mistakes in our lives, doing more harm than good, there is always the possibility to change who we are and progress to personal growth. Despite making grievous mistakes, there is always a chance of redemption, and the series explains it along the journey of certain characters (Steele, 2020).

The above mentioned lessons are only a few. As mentioned before, despite the programme being intended and directed towards a young audience, it may still appeal to the adult audience. Children’s programmes such as Avatar: The Last Airbender can prove quite fruitful in teaching life lessons, lessons that may prove useful in adult lives.

Lyon Vella is a Psychology graduate at the University of Malta and a Volunteer within Willingness Team.


Amorino, S. (2020, August 29). Avatar: The last airbender and Buddhist philosophy. Curious. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/curious/avatar-the-last-airbender-and-buddhist-philosophy-a74fe9451606#:~:text=They%20are%20clearly%20modeled%20on,cherished%20aspects%20of%20Aang’s%20heritage.&text=Throughout%20the%20series%2C%20there%20are,to%20Buddhist%20philosophy%20and%20teachings.

Gaines, K. (2019, June 15). Avatar: The last airbender: 10 life lessons that are still relevant today. CBR. Retrieved from: https://www.cbr.com/avatar-last-airbender-life-lessons-still-relevant/.

Steele, A. (July 25). Avatar: The last airbender: 10 most Important lessons from the series. Screenrant. Retrieved from: https://screenrant.com/avatar-the-last-airbender-important-lessons-aang-zuko-katara-sokka/.