What is the first thing I did on my last-ever winter spring? Read Harry Potter. What is the first thing I did in my new apartment after setting up cable? Watch Harry Potter. What franchise do I talk about the most? Yup, you’ve guessed it: Harry Potter. Both the books and movies in this wonderful series tell the wildly magical story of Harry Potter and his friends. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that this story teaches many important lessons in an unconventional way. For my fellow Harry Potter fiends, what has the series taught you?
Curiosity May Be Dangerous. Ultimately, it’s a Good Thing.
If you boil down every book and movie in the series, it comes down to this: the trio eavesdrops on someone and hears something they shouldn’t. They take it upon themselves to investigate and try to fix the problem. Hell breaks loose, they get in trouble and, ultimately, they save the day. Growing up heavily invested in this franchise, I always admired Harry, Ron and Hermione’s tendencies to ask questions – even if they weren’t the ‘right’ questions. Perhaps they’re the reason why I feel confident asking questions. Who knows?
As the series progresses and the stakes inevitably rise, the gang’s curiosity is wildly dangerous AND necessary. Taking this lesson and applying it to real life, an important thing to consider is the context and timing. Of course, children don’t necessarily understand the importance of either/both because they may not be at a maturity level to do so. However as an adult watching the series, I think that we can look at the timing and context in which the trio embarks on their curiosity exploits and use them to put ourselves in check. Personally, this lesson has encouraged me to get in the habit of writing things down either on a receipt in my bag, in my journal or in a note on my phone. Sometimes the questions I have, while important, may not be the most appropriate for a particular context. Writing those questions and thoughts down allows me to better choose an appropriate time.
(More on the blog: Lessons I Learned From Friends)
Loyalty Doesn’t Need to be Loud.
I was recently catching up on Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and they were discussing an instance in the Prisoner of Azkaban in which Hermione, the rule stickler of the trio, defied her instinct to rat out Ron and Harry to a professor out of loyalty to their friendship. I forget the particular situation they were describing, but anyone familiar with Hermione’s character early in the series understands just how important the rules are to Hermione. That got me to think about other characters from the series.
Who do I think of first? You bet it was Snape. **If you’ve never read the series or watched the movies and plan to, skip this next paragraph. I’m looking at you, Kayla.**
Snape’s loyalty towards Lily Potter is a wildly, deliciously complicated one. For most of his life, Snape was devoted to Lily. So much so, that after she was killed he still went to see her, her son and turned into a double agent in order to dedicate his life to protect her only son. This entire time, he was never loud about it, he was a good friend to her and supported her.
Side Note: If anyone wants to talk about Lily and Snape’s relationship, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
This got me to take a hard look at myself and how I display loyalty to those I love. This realization also motivated me to continue to show loyalty to my loved ones through support, kindness and sacrifice.
(More on the blog: 22 Lessons in 22 Years)
Good Things Take Time.
Pretty much the moral of the whole story, no? As someone who is looking for their first post-grad job, it’s something I can never hear enough. For all of Harry’s life, he has been the center of a huge wizard-culture upheaval that he had no idea existed until he was eleven. Finally, after his six years at Hogwarts, years of physical and emotional pain and many sacrifices plus the decades of suffering and terror that preceded him, Harry and the wizarding world can sleep easy at night.
Granted, the same can be said for Ron and Hermione’s romance. Well maybe not the exact same can be said, but they sure danced around for quite a long time. And look at how they ended up – pretty happy with themselves I’d say.
Have you learned anything from the Harry Potter series? What did your favorite book teach you?