I SEE YOU…..a lesson from Avatar

James Cameron Avatar

James Cameron Avatar


Three simple words that can have two different meanings.  I can physically see you or I can see you spiritually.

This phrase was used in one of my favorite movies, James Cameron’s Avatar.  In this movie the phrase “I SEE YOU” was used as a greeting on Pandora.  There are many fan sites and discussions around the meaning within this movie, but to me the phrase was simple, it was to truly see into someone’s true essence, the goodness inside of their soul and to understand how connected we are.

As stated on the Avatar wiki site:

I See you is a greeting. In the Na’vi language, it is expressed Oel ngati kame for a neutral greeting or Oel ngati kameie to express a positive feeling about meeting someone. Furthermore, the Na’vi have two versions of the verbsee:

  • tse’a, which pertains to physical vision.
  • kame, which means to see in a spiritual sense. It is more closely a synonym of “understand” or “comprehend.”


Many essays, blogs, articles and scientific studies have been written and analyzed on the subject of love and friendship, but to me, the ability to see someone spiritually is an important component of any positive relationship.  I SEE YOU.

When we are younger our eyes and our hearts are functioning fairly well.  Childhood is a time when making a friend is as simple as “do you want to play with me?”  Childhood is a time when your heart is open and you put your fear of rejection aside and say “I SEE YOU, do you see me?” More often than not the answer was yes.

A couple of years ago at the ripe old age of forty something I said this to a new potential friend; “I know this sounds really corny and sounds as if I am five years old but do you want to be friends with me?”  I am happy to say that a couple of years later and we have become close friends, able to share our insecurities, laugh at our quirkiness and constantly strive try to “see” each other.  She is a woman I love and respect.   As recently as today she has helped me navigate a difficult situation.   I SEE YOU.

This is easier said than done.

I would say that the friendships I developed up until after I graduated  college were childhood friends, the kind of friends that you could pick up from where you left off after years of not talking, the kind of friends that say “I miss you” after not seeing you for twenty years.  I’m convinced that these friendships are so special to many of us because they were developed when our vision was clear and our hearts were open.  I SEE YOU.

Then we become adults or at least try to.  We continue to make friends but our vision becomes blurry.  We become a bit jaded, and as the years pass we learn that even though goodness can be found in the most remote of places, that sometimes other people’s vision gets so bad they become blind, unable to see how their actions affect others, unable to find empathy, too busy to bother with love and friendship.  Sometimes that blindness can affect us in negative ways.

And we start to lose our ability to see.   I SEE YOU.

This does not have to be a permanent condition.  Think about the people in your life.   Take a deep breathe.  SEE them.  We all have our own struggles, our own insecurities, our own imperfections.   I SEE YOU….I SEE ME THROUGH YOUR EYES.

After all, what is life really about than to love, to share our joy and to see how we are all connected.  This gift of sight however is a two way street, both people must be willing to turn the light on inside of their hearts and “see,” and the gift of love and friendship is well worth it.

I will leave you with this;  while reading about the movie Avatar and reflecting on this “greeting” and the meaning behind it, I also came upon references to other cultures that use similar greetings.  One tribe of people greet each other by stopping, looking into each other’s eyes and holding that gaze for twenty seconds, no words are spoken.

We are all connected.



7 thoughts on “I SEE YOU…..a lesson from Avatar

  1. Katrina Sabella via Facebook

    WOW, you made me cry, and you know why?………Because……..I SEE YOU, AND I SEE ME THROUGH YOUR EYES!!!!

  2. Anna Lundqvist via Facebook

    Wow, Lorraine! I just love your writing, and your blog…You´re SO talented…and wise, and cool, and fantastic!!

  3. Karen

    I SEE YOU, this brought me to tears. Beautiful for so many reasons. And by the way, one of my favorite movies that has now taken on new meaning. Oxoxo

  4. Ryan's Rally LLC

    You so masterfully put into words what I sometimes feel — see — with my children. Sure, there are others that I sometimes see, but it is like tuning into a low wattage radio station… sometime the conditions are right for clarity and other times it’s a buzz of static.

    Consider me one of your new readers!


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