Peaceful messages found in ‘Harry Potter’Published 9:44am Friday, April 26, 2013
Column: Paths to Peace, by Ava Corey-Gruenes
The “Harry Potter” series has more peaceful messages than people give it credit for. Some who haven’t read the books assume they are bad because they think the books are too scary or violent. Sometimes people assume things that turn out to be wrong. The books are a little scary at times, but most of the time they aren’t scary or violent at all, and having a little bit of scariness is exciting.
There are actually a lot of characters who send out peaceful and wise messages in “Harry Potter.” Albus Dumbledore is probably the character who shares the most peaceful messages. He gives second chances, is very wise and also funny at times. He likes to make peace with everyone when possible.
Dumbledore is a very important character, being the headmaster of Hogwarts. The first impression you would get from Dumbledore is that he is old and weak. Though you would be right that he is old, he is not weak at all. He is the only one who You-Know-Who (Lord Voldemort) was ever afraid of. Right now I would like to bring some attention to Professor Dumbledore and some of his wonderful quotes.
One of his memorable quotes is, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
In life I think this quote means that if something happened in the past that you want to change you shouldn’t spend hours dwelling on that moment that something went wrong but make the present a good time and live your life.
For example, a while ago I wanted to bring a camera to the science museum on a field trip, but my parents didn’t think it was a good idea. At first I focused on not being able to take the camera, and I argued with them about it. They didn’t give in. Even though I wished I could have taken it, I decided to focus on the fact that I get to go to the science museum instead of the fact that I couldn’t bring the camera. Even without the camera, I was able to enjoy the exhibits, the bus ride there and back, and the fact that my friend Taylor was there, too.
Another great statement from Dumbledore is, “It is our choices that show us who we truly are far more than our abilities.”
That is one of my favorite quotes. It means that people don’t have to be good at math, reading, science, social studies, soccer, basketball, baseball — or anything really — but can choose to be nice, kind and good-hearted.
“What is a choice that would show who we are?” you might wonder.
Well some examples include if you show responsibility, tell the truth or help people. That would show that you are loyal. Making sure that you are nice to everyone is important. Everyone does have some special abilities, but how you choose to use them can show who you really are.
Dumbledore often talks about the importance of choices. Another wise statement of his is, “Sometimes we have to choose between what is right and what is easy.”
Let’s say you found a wallet on the street, and it contained a $20 bill, had a picture of the person who owned it and their phone number. The easy thing to do would be to just keep the money, but the right thing to do would be to call the person and tell them you found their wallet.
Sometimes doing the right thing yourself isn’t enough. Dumbledore understands this and says, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
This would mean that we should work with each other instead of against each other. If we help each other we will be a lot stronger. For example Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks both stood up for what they believed in and our country changed. They didn’t do this themselves. They did this with many other people. If they were the only ones who boycotted the buses in Alabama, then nothing would have changed. Thousands stood together, and the boycott changed many people’s lives.
One of my favorite Dumbledore quotes of all time is, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
It means that if someone is having a bad day, then you can cheer them up. That would make their day a lot brighter. Something that “turns on the light” for me is reading. People sometimes think that their kids should not read “Harry Potter” books, but I hope that these quotes have changed their opinion.
Ava Corey-Gruenes is in third grade. She lives in Albert Lea and attends Lakeview Elementary.