For being the most powerful wizard to ever live, Albus Dumbledore was endearingly eccentric, unnaturally cheery, and extraordinarily humble. Although Dumbledore's character is often seen as outlandish and dreamlike, his many nuggets of wisdom remain applicable to our every day Muggle lives.
1. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"harry potter GIFGiphy
As Harry stares at the Mirror of Erised, we witness one of the first of many powerful interactions between Harry and the headmaster of Hogwarts. Dumbledore, aware of Harry's newfound obsession with what his reflection shows, explains that the mirror reveals a person's deepest desire.
Although Dumbledore cannot see what Harry sees, he guesses correctly - "You, who have never known your family," Dumbledore says, "see them standing around you." Of course, Dumbledore supports students' dreams. He does not, however, support brooding on a life that could have been instead of appreciating the life you have.
2. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."harry potter GIFGiphy
This scene is arguably one of the most satisfying of the whole series. Gryffindor is only one point behind Slytherin for the house cup, despite Harry, Ron, and Hermione winning a last-minute 150 points for their house.
But Dumbledore, in typical Dumbledore fashion, explains to the students that "there are all kinds of courage," awarding Neville Longbottom 10 points for sticking up to his 3 friends. Neville, the boy who was bullied for not being a true "fearless" Gryffindor, ends up regarded as the bravest of them all. Not only that, but Gryffindor wins the House Cup! How is that for a happy ending?!
3. "To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
Harry, upon destroying the Sorcerer's stone, realizes that this means Dumbeldore's friend Nicolas Flamel will soon die without the immortality the enchanted gem brought him. Dumbledore comforts Harry, telling him that Nicolas and his wife felt this was for the best.
They had grown tired of this life and were ready to take on the adventure of, presumably, the afterlife. "It really is like going to bed after a very, very long day" Dumbledore affirms.
4. "The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution."denkarium GIFGiphy
Dumbledore had many talents, one being choosing the perfect timing to break difficult news to his friends. Harry desired to know why Voldemort wanted to kill him. Dumbledore admits that he will not lie to Harry, but instead tells him, "when you are ready, you will know." Sometimes it is best to leave tomorrow's troubles for tomorrow.
5. "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."harry potter hp GIFGiphy
At the end of the Chamber of Secrets, Harry realizes just how similar he and Tom Riddle are. For obvious reasons, this is disconcerting to Harry, and he expresses his concerns to Dumbledore. Dumbledore, who never fails to offer wise counsel, tells Harry that he is very different than Tom Riddle. After all, only a true Gryffindor would be so brave as to request not to be a Slytherin.
6. "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light."
Dumbledore tells this, not to just Harry, but to the school as a whole. Hogwarts is under the surveillance of the Dementors of Azkaban-- horrible creatures that suck the life and love out of any atmosphere they inhabit. However, Dumbledore reminds Hogwarts that light triumphs over darkness. Happiness is found, not in circumstances, but in hope.
7. "We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided."
At the end of Book 4, Harry returns from the last task of the TriWizard tournament exclaiming that Voldemort has returned. This, of course, caused reactions of both hysteria and sheer disbelief.
Dumbledore, however, believes Harry and tells the Wizarding community they must unite because "Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity Is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."
8. "It matters not what someone is born but what they grow to be."flying harry potter GIFGiphy
Dumbledore was not only known for giving wise counsel to students, but to leaders of the Wizarding Community. The Headmaster tells this powerful quote to Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, who Dumbledore believed was blinded by the love of his office.
This is one of my favorite quotes of the whole Harry Potter series, simply because it reflects my belief that there is hope even in seemingly hopeless situations.
9. "Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it."
Vulnerability and trust are difficult at the moment, but imperative for individual growth in the long run.
Dumbledore tells this to Harry as he requests the recollection of the trauma Harry has just endured in the maze of the TriWizard tournament. Just after saying this, Dumbledore reminds Harry of something he told the school when he awarded Neville 10 points for standing up to his friends in Book 1-- courage comes in many forms.
Courage isn't just the ability to compete in something as dangerous as a TriWizard Tournament. It is the ability to show your true emotions and speak out against injustice.
10. "Curiosity is not a sin... But we should exercise caution with our curiosity... yes, indeed."i tried harry potter GIFGiphy
Dumbledore always believed in seeking truth, showing love, and seeing the good in everyone. However, this does not mean that Dumbledore was not careful with his actions. After all, Tom Riddle's curiosity in the Dark Arts only led him further down the path of evil.
11. "Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
This piece of advice is one of the hardest Harry ever had to hear. After another tragedy in Harry's life, Dumbledore states that when people sow seeds of indifference, they often reap the consequences. This was not to suggest that anyone deserves death or tragedy, but rather to serve as a warning to treat all creatures with respect.
12. "It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more."
This was, in Dumbledore's opinion, one of Voldemort's biggest weaknesses. Voldemort feared death, so he threatened others with it. However, Dumbledore believed that this was a shortcoming in Voldemort's strategy. "There is nothing to be feared from a (dead) body, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness," Dumbledore told Harry.
13. "Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth."Confused Harry Potter GIFGiphy
Dumbledore, the best Headmaster that Hogwarts had ever seen, always made his confidence in students clear. From encouraging Neville to stand up to his friends to telling Draco Malfoy -- one of the most hated characters of the series thus far -- that he believed he was more than a Death Eater, Dumbledore always found the good in people. Age did not make Dumbledore less relatable to his students, but all the wiser and kinder.
14. "Words are, in my not-so-humble-opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it"
"Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble." - Yehuda Berg
If anyone used words to remedy the injury and instill hope, it was Dumbledore. It is also Dumbledore that did not allow anything (from dark magic to unkind words) to intimidate him. Dumbledore was who Voldemort feared most because, outside of Dumbledore's superior magical abilities, his ability to encourage and demand respect through kindness was even more powerful.
15. "Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love."harry potter GIFGiphy
If Dumbledore made anything clear to Harry throughout his life, it is that love is the most powerful weapon against darkness. This is what saved Harry as a baby and what protected and empowered Harry as an adult.
I hope you are just as encouraged by Dumbledore's words as you are inspired to embrace your inner eccentricities!