The Reason Harry is the Man He is Today
An original editorial by Margie
People have speculated as to why Harry, after being abused for much of
his life, managed to turn out to be the good person he has become. The answer is
that he has had a wonderful mentor. Maybe you think I'm referring to
Dumbledore or Lupin or Sirius. I'm not. I work for a
mentoring program and the official definition of mentoring for our
purposes is a one-on-one relationship with a caring, trustworthy adult in
which the mentor and the youth spend time together at least once a week.
The person who fit's this description for Harry is Hagrid.
A good mentor is a friend. A friend who says, "This is who I am. I want
to share it with you." A friend who says and believes, "I am interested
in you and I want you to share with me."
In Sorcerer's Stone Hagrid quite dramatically shows Harry an alternative
to the hopeless life the Dursley's have always presented him with. This
is often a mentor's role. Some say, "you are not stupid. I believe you
can get better grades." Some understand, "I know you've been hurt by
other adults in you life but I won't hurt you." Some just simply
represent a dependable friend: "I'd like to be your friend now and I'll
be your friend in the future."
The only thing Hagrid really has in common with Harry is that he is an
orphan, too. So, Hagrid uses that to bond with Harry, to reach out to him.
Hagrid isn't very smart. He's certainly not rich but does that matter to
Harry? No. Hagrid cares about him and that is all that matters to
Harry. Hagrid isn't jealous that Harry has more money or is an actual
wizard. He is proud of Harry's successes at school.
In Order of the Phoenix Harry gets Hagrid to divulge information
about his super secret giant expedition by telling him he won't report
on his summer until Hagrid first tells him about his.
"I don't know anything that's been happenin' since I left. I was on a
secret mission, wasn' I, didn' wan' owls followin' me all over the
place--ruddy dementors! Yeh're not serious?"
"Yeah, I am, they turned up in Little Whinging and attacked my cousin and
me, and then the Ministry of Magic expelled me--"
"--and I had to go to a hearing and everything, but tell us about the
"You were expelled?"
"Tell us about your summer and I'll tell about mine."
Hagrid glared at him through his one open eye. Harry looked right back,
an expression of innocent determination on his face.
"Oh all righ'," Hagrid said in a resigned voice. (pg. 424, American hardback)
Harry knows that Hagrid cares enough about him and his education that he
would rather tell his secret than not hear how Harry has been.
Hagrid isn't a perfect mentor -- sometimes he doesn't model the best
behavior or make logical choices -- but he would never do something evil or
intentionally hurt or belittle Harry.
Hagrid is there, even at Harry's worst moment. After Sirius dies Harry
can't decide where to go, but he knows he is welcome at Hagrid's cabin.
Hagrid isn't the one with all the answers, like Dumbledore. He isn't Ron
and Hermione, the anxious friends. He talks about Sirius. He doesn't
make Harry feel better. He doesn't have the right things to say but his
door is OPEN to Harry.
A mentor can do more damage than good if he or she gives up on his or her
youth. The worst thing a mentor can do is miss appointments or disappear
half way through the time commitment. Hagrid is committed to Harry. He
invests time in Harry. Harry can count on him. Hagrid is there for him
even when Harry causes trouble. Hagrid is there for him even when Harry
mistrusts him in Chamber of Secrets!
The biggest influence on Harry's life for good isn't Dumbledore the wise
teacher or Lupin the trusted confidant. It isn't even Sirius, the father
figure. It is Hagrid, the slightly off, half-giant. It is Hagrid the
dependable. Hagrid, who is always there.
There is nothing odd about Harry becoming a wonderful man. Research has
proven that good mentoring changes lives for the better. Just like
Harry, all youth need an adult who really cares. You don't have to be a
giant, just have a giant heart to be a mentor!
Posted by: Sara