“While it is always best to believe in oneself, a little help from others can be a great blessing.”
– Uncle Iroh, Avatar: The Last Airbender
Season 2, Episode 15, “The Tales of Ba Sing Se”
Uncle Iroh is one of my favorite characters in all of fiction.
In this particular part of the story, he has been stopping to help most everyone in his path, including some children who have accidentally broken a window, and a mother with a crying child, and, at this moment, a desperate man who tries to mug him. Instead of beating the man down (as he demonstrates he could, easily), he builds the man up. He gives him tips, shares tea, listens to him, and encourages him to pursue a dream which would leave him both happier and more honest (and legal). On that last, the man comments that no one has ever believed in him (probably in ways besides those that involve this dream of his).
Thus, Uncle Iroh’s words about believing in oneself, and in having others believe in you. That’s why he believes in this man, because it’s something he can give him, to help him in some way.
For myself, I must confess that it has grown harder and harder to believe in myself. I’ve not succeeded at much in my life, and a litany of my failures rolls through my head every so often. I am certain that I would not have made it this far without the people who have believed in me when I could not.
(…oh gosh, I am tearing up just thinking about it… I think I need to make this one quick!)
I am just going to say thank you to my mother, my friends, and my friends-who-are-my-family. The help that has been given to me, with just a few kind words, a few minutes of listening to me and refusing to let me beat on myself too much, and a little bit of encouragement… it’s real. And it has meant everything to me.
I hope that I have done something similar for my friends, and for others. I hope I have been an instrument in blessing others, as others have been a blessing to me. And I hope that I can keep helping. It’s one of the things that gets me through my low moments.
So, if you’re reading this, I want to say that I hope you can believe in yourself, and, whenever you can’t, I hope you have someone else to believe in you.