Do you remember when you got your first Harry Potter book? I do. I was 11. I soon became hooked on the wizarding world, growing up with Harry, Ron and Hermione, reading the last book at the age of 19. I still open up one of the books to a random page when I come home from a vacation—and keep discovering and learning new things.
Let’s have a moment to remember just a few things Harry Potter has taught us.
Keep your eyes opened.
Wisdom is often found in the places least expected. So are the random bits of information you might need. In the first year, Harry and his friends spent weeks searching for Nicolas Flamel in contemporary books, only to accidentally find his name on a Chocolate Frog Card.
If you are aware (more or less) in every waking moment, who knows what you might find. A vacation somewhere off the beaten path? Someone interesting you could talk to? A look that could kill in a dress you normally wouldn’t wear? You never know!
Everybody can contribute.
It’s normal that you want to surround yourself with those who are similar to you. It’s easier to connect to people with whom you share views. Of course, different characteristics and interests could only complement the picture, and you already know that. But even if someone’s completely different, maybe even weird, you shouldn’t rule that person out.
You don’t have to end up friends for life, but if you, say, spend your workdays together, why not try and talk to them? Maybe they have a huge passion for something you know nothing about, but always wanted to learn. Or a certain strength that you could use in your project. Maybe they’re awesome at wizarding chess. There’s something you can learn from absolutely everyone. Don’t give those opportunities up.
Friends are the gemstones of our lives.
Can you imagine the whole story without Ron? After years of hanging around with different people, some have left, some have stayed. You’ve probably had very rough times with friends by your side, and some fabulous ones, too! This turbulent travel through human relationships has probably left you with a pretty good idea of what you want from people and what you can give. You’re also more than aware that people have flaws—yourself included.
You know it’s possible for quarrels, jealousy or just some distance to appear from time to time; but true friends know how to overcome troubles. Friendships, just like relationships, require constant work and care. But at the end of the day, they’re so worth it.
Love can be so difficult.
Remember when Harry broke up with Ginny, even though they were mad for each other, because he was afraid Voldemort would go after her? Sometimes we make difficult decisions to protect the ones we love. Luckily, no crazy sorcerer are at our feet, but we Muggles do have struggles of our own.
It was lovely believing in fairy tales and happy endings; we know now, however, that this is not how the world works. My friend swears that in principle, it’s simple with the right person. Who knows? Maybe it is. But just knowing that love is not all rainbows and unicorns helps you actually value moments that do resemble them more.
Family comes first.
We do know that Harry’s parents are dead and the Dursleys aren’t really the example of a loving and supporting family. But Harry did have his godfather, Sirius, who tried his best to be the family Harry never had. Narcissa Malfoy risked a whole lot for her son. There are probably no people in this world who love you more than those who brought you to it.
If you’re going through a rough phase with them, trust us, we’ve all been there. It will most likely fall into place one day. Until then, try to understand that we are all human, and so are your folks. But if absolutely nothing can repair your relationship with your family, also remember another thing we could have learned from Harry Potter: You needn’t be related by blood to be family.