How do we take a book series that has been a bestseller for over decade, and dive into its right’s and wrong’s, do’s and don’ts? Well, we don’t. This is not about an in-depth analysis of the story or the literary value of J.K. Rowling’s most successful work, rather about what learnings we can imbibe into our own characters or focus on them in case we feel we have already imbibed them, through simple and relevant examples from the books.
The most important, and rightly so, lesson in the book, is that the power of love diminishes any curse, any negative outburst, anything that tries to overpower you at all. Albus Dumbledore’s constant reminders to Harry that the fact that he can love is proof that he has powers greater than Lord Voldemort say so. As we see throughout the story, the fact that Harry was protected by his mother’s love made him impossible to be touched by death eaters, and when we move towards the very end, we see how potent love and sacrifice becomes, whether it is Snape’s undying love for Lily, or Harry’s great sacrifice for the whole of wizard kind. The point here is simple, in our day-to- day existence, we come across many crossroads where we need to choose. Choose between being angry on someone/something and being forgiving, between finding faults with someone and appreciating their small tasks, between selectively liking someone and loving them unconditionally. The choices all lead to the same road, finding your ability to love, and seeing your happiness increase manifold in due course of time.
All friends matter
With Ron and Hermione by his side, Harry always felt he could move mountains, and so do most of us, we feel elated, strong, and indefatigable when surrounded by our friends. It does not matter whether you have two friends or twenty. What matters is whether you respect all friends equally. Harry considered Ron his best mate, even though Ron walked out on him on at least two major occasions, once during the Triwizard tournament in Book Four, and once (the more serious one) when they were hunting horcruxes in Book Seven. On both occasions, Hermione stuck by Harry rock-solid and truly dependable. Then why is Ron still Harry’s best mate? Well, the diversity in the characters of different friends bring out the best in your own character. When Ron was not walking out on Harry, his easy-going personality made him a lot more fun to be around than Hermione, and Harry cherished those moments, they brought out the lighter nature of his character. Hermione, on the other hand, always ready to help, a moving library by herself, brought out the more serious nature in Harry, the bit of his character that outshone everyone else owing to his instincts and nerve. This goes to show that all kinds of friends are indispensable, and we should treat them all with equal respect.
This kind of ties in with the first takeaway. Well, if you are not kind, you cannot love. However, in the context of the story we are talking more about the sort of kindness one needs to show to those who are socially inferior. Dumbledore said – Sirius should have been kinder to Kreacher, and he was too right. If Kreacher had not been treated kindly by Regulus, he would have never saved the locket from going into trash, and the Harry trio might have never been able to trace the missing horcrux. Likewise, in our lives, we come across several situations where again we are confronted with choices on how we should behave with our helping hands, such as our cooks, our drivers, our security guards, and so on. Always treat them with sincere kindness, there will come a time when what has gone around will surely come around.
There are many more takeaways from the book series, but I will leave them for an actual book review later.