I know I am extremely late with jumping on the Harry Potter band wagon and honestly, I can’t be bothered with those kind of technicalities because I am thrilled to announce that I completed the series! So, to commemorate my journey from muggle to witch, and to celebrate my love for this magical world of unlimited imagination, I share with you today the lessons I took from the Harry Potter books.
Grab a cuppa and make yourself comfy, this one is going to be longer than usual…
1. YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY
‘Well,’ said Mrs. Weasley, breathing deeply and looking around the table for support that did not come, ‘well… I can see I’m going to be overruled. I’ll just say this: Dumbledore must have had his reasons for not wanting Harry to know too much, and speaking as someone who has Harry’s best interests at heart -‘
‘He’s not your son,’ said Sirius quietly.
‘He’s as good as,’ said Mrs. Weasley fiercely.
There is a difference between family and relatives. Family is a group of people who love and support you through thick and thin. They embrace your flaws, forgive your transgressions and celebrate in your success. They make you laugh and they piss you off from time to time, but whatever happens you know that they will always be there. Relatives are people who happen to share the same DNA. You can’t choose your relatives. But you sure can choose your family!
2. LOVE CONQUERS ALL
‘Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.’ – Dumbledore
Love is a very broad term that gets thrown around way too often. But can it ever really be thrown around “too often”? The world is filled with so much hate and anger, I think it could do with a bit more love.
3. SOME PEOPLE CAN BE BLINDED BY POWER
‘…I, meanwhile, was offered the post of Minister of Magic, not once, but several times. Naturally, I refused. I had learned that I was not to be trusted with power.’
‘But you’d have been better, much better, than Fudge or Scrimgeour!’ burst out Harry.
‘Would I?’ asked Dumbledore heavily. ‘I am not so sure. I had proven, as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.’
If you look at history and how it keeps repeating itself throughout the ages, it is easy to see that more often than not the wrong person holds all the power in their hands. And every now and then we come across individuals who have no desire to lead, but find themselves forced to do it anyway. It is important to be honest to yourself about what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you do not lose sight of who you want to be.
4. DON’T FORGET WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE YOUNG
‘Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was like to be young.’ – Dumbledore
This is one of my favourite quotes from the series. As youngsters we tend to feel like we’re alone in the world; that no one has ever gone through the struggles we’re facing at that point in our lives. We can be moody and indecisive and generally we tend to feel that adults have no clue what they are talking about half the time. It is normal. It is understandable, really. But as adults, we tend to forget what it was like for us during that confusing time. This is wrong. Because as you get older, you are supposed to become wiser as the years pass you by. You should have empathy and compassion for the generation following your lead.
5. EVERYONE DESERVES KINDNESS
‘Yes,’ said Hermione in a heated voice, ‘he sacked her, just because she hadn’t stayed in her tent and let herself get trampled -‘
‘Hermione, will you give it a rest with the elf!’ said Ron.
Sirius shook his head and said, ‘She’s got the measure of Crouch better than you have, Ron. If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.’
It takes nothing to be kind to people around you. But it can make the world of difference to someone who has never been treated with kindness in their lives. Words can cut deeply. So be careful about what you say and do.
6. RESPECT OTHERS’ BELIEFS
“You can laugh! But people used to believe there were no such things as the Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack!” – Luna Lovegood
The world is filled with wonderful and extraordinary things. Naturally, every person has their own beliefs, and it is so important to respect this. What I learned from Luna Lovegood, is that just because you do not believe in something does not mean that it is not true. Keep an open mind and be sensitive to the next person’s ideas – theories are proven and disproven all the time!
7. CHOCOLATE HELPS!
A loud snap made them all jump. Professor Lupin was breaking an enormous slab of chocolate into pieces.
‘Here,’ he said to Harry, handing him a particularly large piece. ‘Eat it. It’ll help.’
Sometimes all you need is a big piece of chocolate to help make things a little bit sweeter!
This post can go on and on but I think I will end off here for now… What have you learned from reading Harry Potter?