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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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.

The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.

3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.

6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.

7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.

14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.

You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The Breath of Solitude

A Poem With A Prologue // Polar Viewpoints.



She smacks your parted lips,

sucking the dry,

open cracks to a seal.

Pumping energy into your chest

and sending a continuous shiver

from lung to navel.

You can't help but cough,

as your lungs tighten and twist.

Ringing the frosty sensation out –

slipping through your parted lips.

The same parted lips that

allowed her deliberate fingers

to crawl inside

where she can escape her own dimension

of solitude.

The Breath of Solitude

All I know

is solitude.

We chat

every day

in conversations that circulate

behind the backs

of the present.

Solitude grinds my coffee beans,

as we sit

with our legs crossed,

waiting for dawn

to explode over our opaque landscape.

Solitude runs my bath,


as the Sun crashes

against the diminishing horizon.

But none of this is reality.

I am above

the dimension of reality.

Not theoretically,

but physically.

I am only a tool

to be used in the dimension

of your reality.

Drifting in and out,

twirling through your negative space.

My only purpose

is found through your breath;

but what do I do

when you stop breathing?

I wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.

I cannot see the blood

that sloshes through the veins

in your innocent hands.

The blood that energizes

those fingers

upon which I wait.

But I know

the blood is there.

It isn't

what you do.

It isn't

the way you move.

Simply put,

it is

the way

that you exist.

The sheer fact

that you have a bursting burgundy waterfall


not only through your fingers,

but engulfing all of you

in its rich,



The only waterfall

that I encompass

is the waterfall

that you imagine.

I have no blood;

I have no way to exist.

And so I

wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.

I wait for your fingers

to filter the heat

to a state of regulation,

a state of production,

a state in which I can exist.

The peach fuzz

that sleeps on the bridge of your nose

begins to rise

when your fingers initiate the flame.

The temperature reacts,

as would my heartbeat,

if I had a bursting burgundy waterfall,

or some type of life source

inhabiting my chest cavity.

As the heat

starts to melt

my metaphorical skin,

I become reality.

I don't have a face to smile,

or eyes to produce tears.

But I have thoughts.

I have words to say,

I have feelings to express.

I still can only drift,

in and out,

twirling through your negative space,

but now spiraling

into your positive space,

as well.


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