Korra’s animal guide is a polar bear-dog, a species that is feared and hunted by the members of her tribe. They’re known to be feral, powerful, deadly. Korra sees one and takes it home as a freaking pet.
And then Korra’s friends are these people almost no one would typically associate with. Two of them are orphans who grew up on the streets, forgotten by literally everyone in the world. They hold former ties to criminality and dangerous triads. Then another one is the daughter of a convicted terrorist, and that alone would make anyone naturally suspicious over loyalties. But Korra just accepts all of them whole-heartedly and invites them into her life, ultimately bringing out the best in all of them. She can see so much good where other people cannot, and I just find that so admirable.
I think it’s easy to overlook, but when Iroh told Korra that “things that seem frightening in the dark often become welcoming when we shine a light on them,” he was reminding her of something she already knew instead of telling her something new.
Korra basically doesn’t care about anything other than a person’s present and their future potential. Kai might have intended to take advantage of her and Tenzin’s good will, but she knew he could change and that was what mattered to her. Tarrlok bloodbent her, kidnapped her, and locked her in a box, but she still could hardly bear to see him imprisoned. She even felt upset that she couldn’t save Unalaq, in spite of all the pain he caused her.
It’s no wonder that Unalaq’s talk about there being no evil spirits and finding the light in the dark resonated with her, and why she ended up convinced that spirits and humanity should be given the chance to intermingle once again in spite of what had happened in Wan’s time.