BY MELEK CANSU PETEK (ELIT/II)
to you at other times, but this one will be more down-to-earth, unlike my other euphoric articles.
I’m having one of those weeks where I’m more and more tempted to give myself over to the dark side — why, hello, Darth Vader, I didn’t see you there! Assignments, presentations, midterms are piling up: in other words, the weight of taking eight courses is finally dragging me down. If you add to that my attempts to keep up with social and personal responsibilities, and the extra burden of working as a voluntary translator for a variety of projects, you can get a vague idea of how beaten down I feel right now.
That tiredness and inability to catch up with everything at once made me uneasy and fidgety all week long, but just when I was about to give in to the dark side, and submit to my anger and misery, I remembered an episode of “The Legend of Korra” that was aired a couple of weeks ago — yes, I do live in a world of fantasy fiction. In that episode, Korra was trying to save the world from a dark spirit that might reign ten thousand years if not stopped. My petty struggles to live a balanced, well-organized life sound quite insignificant compared to that, right? Yet, surprisingly, the problems I’m facing are not so different from Korra’s when you look at them deep down. I sat down and watched the episode again before writing this column, and one more time, General Iroh’s words spoke to my heart. Here are a few pearls of wisdom from that wise old fellow:
1. “Your emotions become your reality.” I don’t know how many more times I will have to be reminded of these words, but they’re absolutely true, and I’m not talking about that “sending the right signals to the universe” nonsense. This is an inner, spiritual battle, and the universe doesn’t have much to do with it. If you bow down to anger, and all the other “dark” emotions, you’ll start seeing everything around you from that perspective. Anger brings forth more anger, and before you know it, you turn into a volcano, ready to erupt any second.
2. “You have light and peace in you. If you let it out, you can change the world around you.” As hard as it is to believe in this advice right now, I know in my heart that it’s the truth. I may not be able to make the sun shine as literally as Korra did, but I can still find that light if I look for it. I’m not so conceited as to think that I can lighten the entire world with that flickering light coming from inside me, but I sincerely believe in its power to change the world around me. I believe in the multiplication of happiness and light. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
3. “Many things that seem threatening in the dark become welcoming when you shine a light on them.” I was one of those threatening “things” throughout this week, and I’m so grateful for the people who bothered to shine a light on me, who tried to see beyond my gloomy looks. I am often ashamed of myself for too readily judging people when they look hostile and unfriendly. How easy it is to rush into these insensitive conclusions, and yet there I was, being that very sort of liable-to-be-misjudged individual myself. So, the next time I see a gloomy person, I want to use the words that Korra said to the seemingly dark spirits: “I’m not afraid of you. You just look scary. I have light inside.” Somehow, those words brought to my mind “Fix You” by Coldplay. God bless free association!
As I pondered upon these statements, I waved goodbye to the image of Darth Vader and saw him as Anakin Skywalker again. I looked at the darkness and saw the light in it again. I stared at the pile of books, the mess in my room and the countless numbers of items on my to-do list — and miraculously found peace again.
P.S.: Since my mind has been wandering around, this column hasn’t turned out to be the most neat and orderly piece I’ve ever written, but who am I kidding? I can’t recall a time of being neat and orderly in any other area of my life. I’m a 23-year-old who has just taken moral lessons from a cartoon, but you know what? — it’s okay. This is as honest as I could be, and most importantly, I have light inside — just as you do.