Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lessons Learned from Harry Potter

It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.

It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live.

It is not our abilities that determine who we truly are, it is our choices.

Events will occur that will fail to make sense in the here and now, but nothing is coincidental or meaningless.

Help will always be given to those who ask for it.

Looks can be deceiving (Snape, Neville, Umbridge, Lockhart, Moody, need I go on?)

"It is important to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated."

"Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love."

Time does not heal all wounds. Ahem, Snape.

Keep your friends by you. Harry would not have survived year one, let alone the rest of his adventures without loyal friends.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. This is probably the most prominent theme of the entire series, stated in book seven. Will Harry treasure power, fame, or will it be loving others no matter the cost and seeking to overcome evil?

The capacity to love more than the extent of one's abilities determine the capacity for greatness, as shown by Neville Longbottom.

Loyal friends are worth more than popular and powerful ones. Would Crabbe take a knife for Draco the way Dobby does for Harry? I think not.

Equal treatment of those deemed "lesser" reaps great benefits, but prejudice and condescension reap hard consequences. Harry treated Dobby as an equal and Dobby in return lays down his life for his friend. Kreacher and Griphook were treated with disdain, therefore those who treated them unfairly greatly regret it later.

Never underestimate the young. Voldemort shouldn't have.

Never underestimate the elderly. Professor McGonagall! Book readers: Neville's gran.

You are never really alone in your battles. Harry may have made extreme sacrifices, but he is not the only one affected by the conflict that he is central to (Hermoine erasing herself from her own parents' memories, the many character casualties at the battle of Hogwarts, etc.)

Don't always believe what you read. Rita Skeeter clearly could not be trusted to print the truth, or at least not without a sharp angle on it.  

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And don't trust the government to be the ones to do something. Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge (and his successor) could not be trusted to accept the truth or act on it and as a result the magical world falls into an era of darkness and fear.

Nobody is perfect. Not James Potter, not Albus Dumbledore.

Just because someone is on your side doesn't necessarily mean they should always be listened to. Sorry Sirius.

Never become between a mother and her child. Lord Voldemort tried that and spent the better part of fourteen years as a diminished stump of a being. Bellatrix Lastrange made the same mistake and it was not only the last thing she ever did, but she created a situation bad enough to make Molly Weasley spout one of the best lines in the entire series.

Fear is one of the greatest and most crippling weapons. For proof of that, look at the Ministry of Magic. When it becomes clear that Lord Voldemort has indeed returned, rather than fighting against him, they vilify Harry and all those associated with him.

Book smarts are good to have, but you have to get out of the library for them to do you any good. Hermoine learns this after the troll incident.

Some things are simply worth waiting for.

What goes around comes around. Sometimes. Peter Pettigrew gets his comeuppance, but Delores Umbridge not so much. Or the Malfoys. Okay, what goes around doesn't always come back around.

And finally, when good goes against evil, there is no sitting on the sidelines. All will be affected one way or another, so choose your side.

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