Ten years since the final book J.K Rowling, the Wizard of the World of Books, wrote for the greatest franchise, I wait for my copy of the new book “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” that was released on the midnight of Harry’s Birthday, 31st July. This probably being the last book from the series, is enough to make me nostalgic to pick up one of the earlier Harry Potter books or see the movies (not that I ever need a reason to do that) to revisit this world of witchcraft and wizardry.
Harry Potter has always been one of the beloved stories of all times and it was never just a book series, but a whole new world meaning everything to so many of us. It is difficult for my parents to understand, why an almost 30-year-old is still obsessed with a series of books and movies which according to her were meant for kids, but if you have read the books or watched the movies then you would understand the strong bond that we share with this magical world. For the Millennials like me, we grew up with Harry and lived our lives once again through his school years as we laughed and cried along and shared several feelings.
With the Harry Potter franchise growing every year, whether it is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios that takes you on a ride through the alleys and shops of Hogsmeade and the wait at Kings Cross platform 9 to take the train to Hogwarts or the new games that are launched and are planned to be launched, this captivating tale of Harry Potter and his friends keeps creating more fans year on year. The series is not only written brilliantly, but the lessons woven throughout the books are simply eternal and impeccable. So before I get engrossed in the new book, I have come up with five lessons that this amazing seven-book series of the boy with the lightning bolt scar and you-know-who has taught us.
With loyal and supportive friends, nothing is impossible
Although the series is about Harry Potter, the story is incomplete without Hermione and Ron. And we all know if it wasn’t for those two, Harry would have died in most of the situations. Each one is brave and has their own set of talents that they recognize and appreciate as well. Hermione’s intelligence, Ron’s loyalty, and Harry’s courage make their friendship special and unique. They have had their fights and disagreements like every group of friends, but they always support each other when the time needed it. Apart from these two, there were other friends like Neville and Luna who crossed over the bridges of fear and craziness to help a lending hand whenever required.
Similarly, in your day-to-day life you will be faced with several hurdles, but when you have the support from your beloved friends, everything will seem easy and doable.
It is always about the choices you make
From the first book itself, when Harry chooses to be in Gryffindor rather than Slytherin even after the Sorting Hat tells him he would do great being in Slytherin, tells a lot about why our choice matters in shaping our future. If only Harry wanted he had several chances when he could have easily slipped over to the dark side, but he never did. It is just like Dumbledore says, “ It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”.
Every day puts up several choices in front of us like whether to eat healthily or go for junk food, or whether to yell when angry or take it calmly and peacefully to resolve issues. Depending on the choices we make, our future will be shaped and we must face it with dignity.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Although we come to know pretty late in the books, Severus Snape is the best example for this. Even though Dumbledore keeps reminding Harry that he trusts Snape, every action of Snape speaks otherwise throughout the book. And it is only in the end that we all understand that he, in fact, has been protecting Harry since Harry was a baby. Despite his obnoxious behavior and scornful face, Snape is a true hero of the story which even Harry understands as he names one of his children after him. Similarly, Hagrid’s immense stature is intimidating but we all know he has a huge heart that goes beyond his size.
It sure is in our human behavior to make judgments about people and cast them into stereotypes by the way they look , dress up, their color, race or origin. Just like it is shown in the books that muggle born wizards (wizards of non-magical parents) are no different than the purebloods, for example, Hermione or Harry’s mother Lily, who are not only intelligent but are also powerful witches of their times despite their origin. Similarly, no matter what place someone belongs to or what clothes they wear, it is not wise to judge people as you may be surprised by some who are genuinely nice and smart regardless of these superficial factors.
Love is a powerful weapon
Since childhood, we have been taught that hate is a bad feeling and we should always be filled with love and we have seen the power of love saving Harry on several occasions. The sacrifice Lily, Harry’s mother, makes to save her son from Voldemort, casts a shield around Harry due to which Voldemort’s spell backfired. Her sacrifice of love is so powerful that it keeps away Voldemort, one the most powerful wizard of all times, from killing Harry. At every step in the fight, Harry was always surrounded by people who loved him dearly that made him stronger and gave him the motivation necessary to cope up with hard times.
Even though we might not meet our parents, siblings, and friends daily, but knowing that they are out there always loving us gives us the strength to carry on no matter what the circumstances are.
Learn to move on
In the first book and movie, we have seen Harry sitting in front of the mirror of Erised in Hogwarts because he can see his parents in it. Although dreams propel us to reach our goals but getting mired in fantasies will simply make you lose the game. Dumbledore reminds Harry to not get obsessed with the mirror since it has driven many great wizards mad as the mirror only shows your deepest wants and you probably can never fulfill them. Similarly, one should not be stuck on to moments that give us comfort because then you will miss out on the opportunity to experience life. We cannot dwell in the past and must learn to move on to better things in life.
These are just a handful of lessons, but when you read and reread the books you will realize that the complete series has more life lessons that you can imagine. It is hard to not fall in love with the story and the characters because you can easily see yourself in one of those characters. Every Harry Potter fan that I know of has a learning close to their heart and so the series is strongly recommended for everyone irrespective of the age. Grab a copy of the book if you have never read Harry Potter, and if you have then do share with others what it has taught you and how the series was able to bring about a change in your life.
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