Mom bought me the brick-of-a-book fourth installment of Harry Potter when I was 12 because she wanted me to “read more”. Though not having understood what she meant at the time, I am glad she bought it when she did. The book is now a crumpled relic on my bookshelf, wrinkled, and creased. A memento of my teenage years.
If you ask me, Harry Potter was not a children’s story but a life manual, a self-improvement guide, a relationship coach, and a cookbook (Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans or chocolate frogs anyone?) that pooled everything we knew about the world into an alternative, magical universe.
source: google images.
The books taught me the values of friendship, trust, unconditional love and support; that even heroes can’t do everything on their own and, that — most of the time, they aren’t even the brightest or most practical people. However, heroes are almost always the most intuitive, the most courageous. They’re the ones with principles, the belief, and the unwavering sense that they must succeed. They don’t do it for the glory, nor for the fame, but rather for something personal. They know that if they don’t try, they will have regrets.
And as for career advice? While coaching the members of Dumbledore’s Army, Harry explained:
“Working hard is important. But there’s something that matters even more. Believing in yourself. Think of it this way: All great wizards in history started off as nothing more than we are now. Students. If they can do it, why not us?”
Harry had to fight against evil and, in the process, became marginalized, was wrongfully punished by dimwit professors, and not to mention symbolically die in his quest to vanquish the Dark Lord. He didn’t go through his life with a plan but he had the self-conviction that whatever he needed to do, he would be able to do it, and that help would come when the situation called for it.
Harry Potter helped me build memories. It made me remember the nights when I would read until my eyes hurt. Then I decided to read different books such as Dan Brown’s The Davinci Code, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, or D.J. Mchale’s the Pendragon series, but nothing gave me the warmth and support that J.K Rowling’s young wizards did. I also learned the importance of understanding human nature. Sirius Black put it aptly:
“The world is not split into good people and Death Eaters. People have both good and bad in them. It just depends on which side that they choose to act on.”
I could lose myself in the world of the boy wizard but Headmaster Dumbledore once said: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
If I were to retain only one lesson from Harry Potter, it’s that even Harry made his dreams come true by working on them.
But he always remembered to live and have fun while doing so.