Becoming Albus Dumbledore: Kind to Bullies #MNBHP
Good evening, Amycus,” said Dumbledore calmly, as though welcoming the man to a tea party. “And you’ve brought Alecto too….Charming…”
The woman gave an angry little titer. “Think your little jokes’ll help you on your deathbed then?” she jeered.
“Jokes? No, No, these are manners,” replied Dumbledore.
Amycus and Alecto, as we see in book seven, are right up there with Umbridge on the evil-o-meter. They were students of the very observant Dumbledore, so he probably knew this about them. Yet, despite his disagreements with how they live and treat others, he finds it within himself to be kind and courteous toward them. Dumbledore doesn’t let the meanness of others change him into a mean man.
Staying calm in the face of bullies is no easy feat, least of all for Gryffindors—who are known for their hot-headedness. So how did Dumbledore, a Gryffindor, learn to keep his manners in the face of bullies? Since Rowling hasn’t told us, I’m going to take a stab at it. Dumbledore seemed to be forever changed by the death of his sister. Her loss put a lot of things into perspective for him. One of them, I think, could have been that retaliation often leads to more hurt than good. Hurt to ourselves and to those we love. It is much easier to deal with the fallout of showing love in the face of evil, than in returning evil for evil.
Be more like Dumbledore, kind even to the nastiest of bullies, because at the end of the day the fallout of kindness is livable whereas the fallout of revenge may not be. (Note: Being kind does not mean being a doormat. Dumbledore was far from a man who was walked all over.)
Next Week: Becoming Albus Dumbledore: Old