Monday, April 21, 2014

Life Lessons from Harry Potter

This is already on track to be my nerdiest post. But it's necessary. I have been obsessed with Harry Potter since my Mom brought home a copy of the Philosopher's Stone after traveling to Scotland when I was just 8 years old. From then on, my brother and I would lay on her bed while she would read us one chapter every night. I remember waiting for the times that we could curl up and get lost in the story. We did this for years. In fact, even when I was old enough to read them for myself, we still experienced it together, taking turns passing the book and reading out loud. I never read the books without my Mom and brother. It was our tradition until the series was over 10 years later.

I literally grew up with Harry in every way possible. As my life changed and as I grew older, he did too. As my understanding for the world around me developed and changed, the wizarding world helped me to understand this. And as I was placed in challenging, new and scary life situations, I knew I could over come because, lets face it, at least I wasn't facing He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

The Harry Potter series changed the way I viewed everything in my life around me. Everything.

First and foremost, Hermione completely changed my perspective and outlook on life. Yes, even as an 8 year old. I aspired to be Hermione Granger. She was my heroin as a child (still is). I looked up to her in every way. And what better role model could a young girl ask for?

Emma Watson was quoted as saying, "Young girls are told you have to be a delicate princess. Hermione showed them that you can be a warrior."

This could not be any more correct. I learned from Hermione that I didn't need to take the role of submissive and accepting. I could stand up for who I was, what I believed in, and those around me. As a woman in a man's world (yes, this is a man's world) I can make just as much as an impact, if not more, than my male counterparts. I control my own destiny and I have the ability to do anything. I don't have to be the supporting role to a man. I am important, powerful and in control.

She taught me to take pride in my accomplishments and rely on my own knowledge, not others. I learned the importance of independence in all aspects of life. I remember vividly from 3rd grade competing for the best student and top marks because, that's what Hermione would have done. She changed my perspective of education and learning to the point that it became "cool" to be smart. I owe my grades, college scholarships and current career to my role model throughout my childhood.

Though Hermione was/is my idol, other characters sure have their symbolic characteristics full of life lessons as well.

Harry: showed me the importance of selflessness and courage. He taught me to be strong in the face of adversity and to fight through whatever life threw at me. He taught me to never give in to evil and stand for what is right. 

Ron: taught me that friendship is worth fighting for. He showed me how important it is to surround myself with people who are going to push me to be my best. He taught me to follow in the great examples of my siblings while also setting my own goals. I knew I could look up to them, as intimidating as their accomplishments may seem. He pulled his weight the best he could in his family and his friendships. He showed me that believing in yourself is more powerful that any magic. 

Molly Weasley: taught me that my mother is my biggest fan. She showed me the delicate and caring role of a mother. She also showed me the strength and power a woman plays in her family. I learned to appreciate my motherly figures, whether biological or not, and appreciate the stresses and energy they experience based on my personal life. 

Draco: taught me that we are a product of our environment. People become what we raise and teach them to become.

Fred and George: showed me the importance of enjoying life and finding humor and joy along the way.

Percy: showed me that no matter my mistakes, or how I let them down, my family will always be there for me. No career, job, school or lifestyle is worth sacrificing them. 

James and Lily: taught me that our loved ones are never truly gone. 

Snape: taught me that there is nothing more powerful than love. There is a hero hidden inside of us all if we are willing to love.

Sirius: taught me that there is light and dark in everyone, but it is our actions that define us.

Dumbledore: taught me that what is right and what is easy are often two completely different things. He told me that I can find happiness in everything. He taught me to look past prejudices and take a real look at a person. 

Neville: taught me that hard work, determination, and dedication pay off.

Weasley's: showed me that family is more important than any worldly possessions. 

Luna: taught me to embrace everyone around me. She taught me that it's okay to be quirky and different. It is more important to be yourself and stand out, than to fit a mold and be ordinary.

Voldemort: taught me that a life without love is not worth living.

Language Development
Finally, one last life lesson...Writing and Language have never been my strong suits. As a child I struggled to read and write. My development was slow, and my understanding dim. During these crucial years of learning, I needed a miracle, and a spell was cast. Before Harry Potter, my interest in reading was obsolete. Once we picked up the first book however, I was addicted. I couldn't get enough. Whether it was the wizarding world or Beverly Cleary, from that day forward, I wasn't caught without a book in my hand. 

J.K. Rowling gave me, a young girl struggling to read, a motive and love for books. From reading the series, my writing, reading, speech, vocabulary, and all aspects of my language development thrived. To this day, I learned to love books, and like Hermione taught me, all of my questions could be found through reading. Thank you Rowling for the many worlds you have opened up for me.


  1. I just forward this to Carolyn...she loves Hermoine :)

    1. Haha. Awesome! I'm glad! No character will ever beat Hermoine. :)