Three Important Life Lessons We Can Learn Through Harry Potter

Every fall I find myself reaching towards the series that defined my childhood- Harry Potter. The books and characters are so familiar to me, it feels like catching up with an old friend. As I was rereading these books again this year, I noticed the variety of lessons that JK Rowling has spread throughout them. The main three that stuck out to me, and the ones that I feel are due for review are:

1. Form your own opinions and stand up for your causes

A constant source of trouble throughout the series is the manipulation of the media by the British wizarding government, otherwise known as the Ministry of Magic. The reporters in the series only report what the government wants the common wizard to know, they do not share anything that goes against the stances of the government, leaving many citizens in the dark. This is an issue that is bigger today than ever, with accusations of fake news being spread constantly. Within the series, Harry’s constant sightings of Voldemort and his Death Eaters are ignored by the Ministry and they claim him to be mentally deranged. There are striking similarities between Harry’s claims of Voldemort and Greta Thunberg’s outspoken comments about global climate change. Both are discredited for being teenagers and for possible mental direst. But, as shown in the series, and through Greta, a strong belief in the truth cannot stop anyone from making a difference. Harry is able to defeat the Dark Lord, though he made many enemies while trying to do so.

 

Greta has faced continuous backlash due to her age and for being on the autistic spectrum. 

2. Don’t judge someone based on their background

This is a classic lesson that has been preached to us since kindergarten. However, it is a lesson that is well worth repeating and is one that is expressed constantly throughout the series. This can constantly be seen through the use of the word “mudblood” which is directed to those of non-wizarding parents. Many believe that these students do not have the right to learn magic, simply because the trait does not run in their bloodline.  Hermione Granger is the main person who these comments are focused on. Even though she is not from a wizarding family, Hermione is at the top of her class and is constantly outperforming pure-blooded wizards. Constantly people are judged for a multitude of reasons. We see viral videos of people yelling at non-white citizens to“go back where they came from”. These occurrences are sickening and are based on factless claims that are perpetrated from bigotry and xenophobia. We cannot simply reduce people to their backgrounds and our connotations of them, we need to view them as a whole being. Hermione may have been a mudblood but she did not let that stop anyone from telling her that she couldn’t succeed. 

3. Trust your friends

Finally, Harry would have not been able to defeat the Dark Lord if it wasn’t for his two friends- in fact, it would have been doubtful that he would have survived long enough to get there without Ron and Hermione. Constantly the two are helping Harry, and each other, with schoolwork, secrets, questions, and problems that arise. Harry Potter also is a constant reminder of the ups and downs that everyone will face with their friends over their life. Some of the problems Harry, Ron, and Hermione face together, whereas several of them fracture the group throughout the seven installments. The way that Rowling wrote the series perfectly demonstrates to the readers that good friends may never see eye-to-eye on everything, but deep down, they all have each other’s backs in the face of adversity.  The three are deeply devoted to ensuring that each other thrives.

 

Though this article may have just been an excuse to read some more Harry Potter guilt-free, I strongly believe that the lessons that JK Rowling has spread throughout the series are very important, today now than ever.  Harry Potter has grown-up alongside me, every year, new lessons come from the book. There is no doubt, to me, why this series is loved by such a wide variety of different demographics-everyone can relate to and learn from it in some way. 

 

--

Edited by Katie Carnefix