The Top Eight Life Lessons From Harry Potter

The Top Eight Life Lessons From Harry Potter

A children's book series managed to present some pretty serious lessons about friendship and courage

Other than the obvious ones (my parents, my siblings, school), I found Harry Potter to be one of the biggest influences on my development of morality and character growing up. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way – I’d argue that Harry Potter is the defining work of my generation and that it has been instrumental in the growth of innumerable readers worldwide. As I’m embarking on yet another re-read of the series, here are my top eight life lessons gleaned from Harry Potter.

1. Remind yourself of happiness when faced with despair

My favorite spell in the Wizarding World, the Patronus Charm, involves drawing on past happiness to defeat a creature whose very presence generates misery. Finding enough happiness to banish dementors isn’t easy – the Patronus Charm is one of the most difficult defensive spells – but remembering friendship, love, and joy is our greatest defense in the face of crushing despair. We’ve all dealt with dementors of our own, circumstances determined to suck every ounce of hope and happiness from us, but with enough practice, the Patronus Charm can drive away feelings of misery and hopelessness.

2. Prejudice and hatred are our most destructive weapons

Voldemort rose to power by spouting rhetoric of pureblood superiority and the danger of Muggle-born witches and wizards. This premise is clearly allegorical. History is rife with examples of prejudice and hatred fueling cruelty and injustice. Voldemort’s ideology is far more dangerous than his magic. Convincing his followers of the inferiority of Muggles and Muggle-borns fuels his entire crusade and enables him to commit countless atrocities.

3. Laughter is power

The Weasley twins run a successful joke shop in the midst of war and oppression. The Boggart Banishing Spell works by finding humor in our greatest fears. Harry Potter teaches us that the ability to laugh can be a source of tremendous strength.

4. Good and evil aren’t simple concepts

Yes, Voldemort is unquestionably the bad guy, and Harry is unquestionably the good guy, but there are shades and nuances to the majority of the secondary characters. Xenophilius sells out the trio to the Death Eaters, sure, but he does it to save his daughter. Snape isn’t nice, but he’s not the cold, emotionless person we once suspected him to be. Dumbledore is working for good, but he’s dishonest with Harry about some very important information. Harry Potter reminds us that most people aren’t pure good or pure evil.

5. There’s nothing wrong with being smart

Hermione’s knowledge got the trio out of trouble more times than I can count. Being a good student may not seem cool, but knowledge is power. Especially for young women, who are expected to be quiet and compliant in the classroom, Hermione’s unabashed intelligence is pretty significant. She was certainly my inspiration is my early school days.

6. Family isn’t purely biological

The Dursleys are Harry’s only living blood relatives, but they’re by no means family. The Weasleys, in contrast, take in Harry as one of their own despite having no biological connection. Hagrid, Sirius, Lupin, Ron and Hermione are all examples of Harry’s non-biological family members. Family is a much more complicated and important concept then blood relation.

7. Stand up for your beliefs, even when it’s hard

Harry is condemned by the Daily Prophet and the Minister of Magic himself for telling the truth about Voldemort’s return. Despite attacks on his character and sanity, he maintains his belief because he knows it’s a truth people need to hear. Harry taught us to do the same, to speak our truths with conviction even in the face of doubt and discouragement.

8. Be brave

This lesson was probably the most important for me. As a kid, I was a bit of a chicken, but watching Harry face terrifying situations with strength and bravery inspired me. Courage is one of the key values of the series. The courage to seek the truth, face fears, and make sacrifices is demonstrated time after time. At only seventeen, Harry was prepared to die to save his friends. Although my challenges are significantly less important than facing the most powerful dark wizard of all time, Harry’s courage continues to inspire me years after I first read the series.

Harry Potter enchanted us as children, but it can remain relevant and meaningful to us in our adult lives. When we truly embody the ideas presented in Harry Potter, we may be surprised to find just a bit more magic in our lives!

Cover Image Credit: The Independent

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right

In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" ""

31. "Sleep? I don't know about's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"

35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?

39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"

I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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7 Reasons To Get Excited For The Orlando Fringe Festival

Aside from the obvious draw of 100+ shows to choose from, there are so many more reasons to check it out.

The Orlando Fringe Festival is a two-week performing arts extravaganza featuring all kinds of acts from this city and others. It is also the longest-running theater festival in the United States, so it’s had plenty of time to get great. If you want the basics on how to attend, there is an article in the Orlando Sentinel that breaks it down for first-timers. But as we gear up for what is basically Coachella for theater nerds, here are just a few more things to get jazzed about.

1. You’ll finally be able to support your artist friends.

We all have that friend who is constantly involved in some sort of production. Of course you’d love to go and see them all, but who has the time? At Fringe, there are plenty of chances to see a show, since there are performances at many different times for two weeks. And if you have a lot of friends who are performers in Orlando, then I have good news! They will all be in the same place.

2. Two words: food trucks.

There is pretty much no other time when it is socially acceptable to eat a bunch of fried Oreos than at a carnival or at Fringe. Carnivals seem dangerous though, so you might as well just hang out at Fringe, where it’s safe.

3. There’s something for everyone.

Even if theater isn’t your thing, there are more than just a few alternative options available. You can also find concerts, stand up comedy, storytelling, and a whole lot of things that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was a thing."

4. This year, planning is easy.

In their 27th year, the Orlando Fringe has introduced a new way to plan which shows to see. The Fringe-o-Matic allows you to input the shows you’re interested in and create a personalized schedule so you can make it to (almost) all of them.

5. You’ll never have to travel far.

Most of the shows at Fringe are located in or around Loch Haven Park, and venues include the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art. These are all within walking distance of each other, and are separated only by a parking lot (which, by the way, is free to use). The only other shows are BYOV, or Bring Your Own Venue, in multiple locations in Orlando.

6. It’s not just local acts.

Maybe if you’re an Orlando native, you’re a little tired of the local scene. This festival includes production companies from lots of other states and countries, so it’s a great opportunity to see fresh faces and shows that are the best of their respective locale.

7. Things will get weird.

Even if you’re a veteran Fringe-goer, you’re definitely in for a quite a few surprises. Last year, I saw a Canadian male burlesque troupe led by a Justin Trudeau impersonator (caution: link NSFW), and it wasn’t even the craziest thing that happened.

The Orlando Fringe Festival runs from May 15th to the 28th, so it’s right around the corner. It’s all happening so fast! But if you’re not hyped yet, maybe you should take a trip to the beer tent.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Fringe

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