Whether you read Harry Potter as a kid or an adult, it’s full of lessons that can last a lifetime. Though I watched the movies as a young teenager, I didn’t read the books until I was a bit older. Even today, as a grown and married woman, I find so much inspiration and life lessons from these books, from the power of learning to being mindful. Here are just a few of the life lessons Harry Potter has taught me!
When in doubt, go to the library
That’s a direct quote from Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, describing how Hermione Granger handles almost everything! Reading all the time, she checks books out of the library whenever it’s time to learn about forbidden magic or practice a new spell. Her preparation through reading saves the day on many occasions, proving the power of reading!
People may surprise you
You know the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” In Harry Potter, this holds true for people, too. Harry misjudges some characters, both in trusting those he shouldn’t and hating those he should embrace. As he learns his lesson, we readers do, too.
Show the world who you are through your actions
When Harry first sits beneath the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts, he’s almost sorted into Slytherin — but he doesn’t want to be there. When he tells the Sorting Hat, he’s instead assigned to Gryffindor. And as wise old Dumbledore says, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Friendship is more valuable than riches
Harry has a small fortune in Gringotts Wizarding Bank, but what he really values in his life is friendship. He meets his very first friend on the Hogwarts Express before he ever arrives at school: Ron Weasley, who may be broke but is rich in loyalty to Harry and his friends.
Enjoy the little things
Dumbledore is a great example of someone with the weight of the world on his shoulders, yet he always enjoys the little things. Whether he’s snacking on lemon drops or wiping away tears from the beauty of music, he shows us how to enjoy life while we’re here.
Call your demons by name
The first step in facing your fears is naming them. Before you can confront something that’s bothering you or holding you back, you have to acknowledge what it is — and that can start with just naming it. In Harry Potter, people calls Voldemort “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” or “You-Know-Who,” but Harry doesn’t buy into that. He calls Voldemort by his name. As Dumbledore says, “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself,” and that’s exactly why it can be so healthy for us to identify our own demons — then they might even shrink a little bit.
You’re never too young to change the world
Harry Potter is all about kids saving the world. Even in their very first year at Hogwarts, Harry and his friends show courage to chase the truth and face their fears. Ron is even willing to sacrifice himself in a life-and-death game of Wizard’s Chess in that momentous year one. As Dumbledore states, “Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.”
Feature photo by Liam Truong on Unsplash