In light of the heaviness that the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election has left people all around the world with, I thought it was important to write a post reminding us all what it is that the Harry Potter series taught us – aka, the lessons that I learned from the series.
Let love win.
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”— Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (723)
Celebrate diversity. Be empathetic, be kind, be open-minded, and show love to those around you. Harry Potter very clearly, and skillfully, painted us a picture of the power of hate by depicting blood-prejudice in the place of racism – let’s not repeat the wizarding world’s mistakes, and instead, be better.
Be proud of who you are.
“I am what I am an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth bothern’ with.’”— Hagrid, Harry Potter andThe Goblet of Fire
Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed for who you are – whether it be your race, your gender, your sexuality, your background, or anything else at all. These are things worth being proud of, and worth celebrating about yourself – anyone who says otherwise doesn’t matter at all. There are people in this world who truly care about you and everything that makes you unique, and they’re the ones who are worth your time and investment.
It’s your choices that define you.
“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Dumbledore basically said it all. Just remember that even when it’s hard, even when it’s scary, and even when it’s risky, stand up for what is right, and stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. It all comes down between doing the right thing, and doing the easiest thing.
This reminds me of the next lesson that I learned:
Don’t stop fighting for what you believe in.
“It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay.”— Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
“We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.”— Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I understand how discouraging and painful this election has been – believe me, I understand. Take time to grieve, and take time away, if you have to. But take heart, and don’t give up. Keep speaking up for what you believe in, continue to make noise, and stand up against hate (and never become it).
Don’t let go of hope.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is arguably the most famous quote from the Harry Potter series – and it is for good reason. It’s one of the most important lessons that anyone could learn.
As easy as it may be, don’t let go of hope – look for the light, when it can be found, and create it whenever you can. Although this election season was devastating for people around the world, we still see signs of progress – we see that Kamala Harris was elected the first Indian-American to serve in the United States’ Senate, and is also California’s first Black female senator. We see the millions of people around the United States, of all ages, genders, races, and sexualities, standing up against hate and fighting for what they believe in. We see that countries around the world that are dominated by the patriarchy are now opening doors for women – South Korea currently has the most women in political office that it’s had in all of its history!
Don’t lose hope – this election may have been extremely symbolic of the progress we have yet to achieve, but this is still a world worth fighting for.