Nine life lessons I learnt from Harry Potter


  1. There is more to reality than what we see

When Harry Potter was locked up under the stairs, without any friends and basically without any light in the seemingly dark tunnel that was his future, he would never have thought that a day might come to transform his life in basically minutes. He never would have thought that one day Hagrid would arrive with his first birthday cake under his arms. He never would have thought there was a world where he mattered and where his voice would finally be heard. Point is you should not underestimate life’s ability to write unimaginable twists. Good ones too.

  1. You sometimes have to lose the battle to win the war

Whoever catches the golden snitch gains 150 points for their house in quidditch and ends the game. This usually means instant win. But do you remember those occasions when Harry must not catch the snitch? Because I do. There was at least one time when 150 points were not enough for Gryffindor to win. Harry saw the snitch but needed to wait until the team gathers enough points so that catching the snitch would make a difference. We imagine the road to success would be straight. That once we see the snitch we should just jump at it because we might never see it again. Sometimes however patience and planning work better than pushing forward. You lose a battle when you let the snitch out of your sight… but when it comes again, and you are finally ready to catch it you win the war.

Also… Do you remember how Umbridge punished Harry with a pen that drew his blood and carved words on his hand? ”You must not tell lies”. With every word he cut in his hand he lost a war against Umbridge in that room. But later, in the forest, when Umbridge was given to the Centaurs and she begged Harry, Ron and Hermione to tell the centaurs not to hurt her because she came with good intentions, this very sentence was Harry’s victory over her as he told her: ”I can’t…. I must not tell lies”. I guess what I am getting at is just because you lost the battle – does not mean you’ve lost forever. The bricks that are thrown at you might later be used to build your fort.

  1. In tense situations people can exhibit traits you never thought they have

What did you think of Neville first? Of Luna Lovegood? Would you have thought Neville would defeat the snake? Would you have figured Luna can see Thestrals and is not repulsed by them because she is brave enough to face her demons? Would you have thought she would play a key role in the end? I sure as hell did not see these coming. This just reminds me that I might be surrounded by heros everywhere I go. Villians too, but there is a vast amount of goodness hiding in the people around, waiting to unveil itself in the light of an unusual event.

  1. You have to go to the roots of the problems

It was not easy to kill Voldemort. He seemed downright undefeatable. In order to kill him they had to deal with all of his horcruxes. They could not just miss one. This just reminds me that the problems can only be solved once they are througoutly investigated and their background is completely eliminated. Otherwise they just grow to the point where we are afraid to call them by the name.

  1. Level of education is not everything

Just one word here: Hagrid.

  1. Teamwork makes the dream work

Harry did not win the triwizard tournament alone. He did not save Sirius alone. He did not defeat Voldemort alone. He could not have no matter how big of a hero he was. It was always about the team.

  1. Sometimes you have hidden friends and unseen enemies

Remember how Snape saved Harry from falling off his broomstick at quidditch? Or that moment Harry shared with Snape when the professor was dying? This black haired man never failed to show resentfulness and hatred to Harry…. meanwhile saving his life. Who would have thought he is actually on Harry’s team? Or who would have thought the prisoner of Azkaban, from whom Harry was so strictly guarded will become one of his most trusted people?

Also there was Scrabbers. Everyone’s favourite rat from book one… Look what he turned out to be in the end. He was an enemy hiding in plain sight.

  1. There is a story behind evil

We like to think that people who do evil are just born that way. We assume that a moment of losing one’s mind makes a killer. We need to study Voldemort. How he was treated at the orphanage, how he grew up and how much it has to do with what he has become. I think initially he was thrown into darkness and did not feel too good there. Then – to cease his pain he learned to surf this darkness like a sea, to use it and to enjoy it. Noone is born evil. Society makes evil happen.

  1. Darkness does not last forever

The Dursley’s will not be your caretakers forever. You will not always live under the stairs. You will not stay ununderstood forever. You will not stay in the lair of spiders forever. Umbridge will not be your teacher forever. The minister of magic will not be corrupt forever. Hagrid will not stay in Azkaban. You will not fight all your battles alone. Ultimately: Voldemort will not live forever. 



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