Becoming Harry Potter: Parselmouth #MNBHP
“Hannah, he’s a Parselmouth. Everyone knows that’s the mark of a Dark wizard. Have you ever heard of a decent one who could talk to snakes? They called Slytherin himself Serpent-tongue.”
Ernie Macmillan, CoS
Harry is labeled a Dark wizard because of an “inherited” skill. Ernie Macmillan is essentially saying the skill makes the person and not the other way around. Hopefully, most of us know not to take Ernie seriously in forming our opinion of Harry’s character, but how many of us take Ernie-like judgment statements as fact rather than prejudice (pre-judgment)? How many things do we believe about others just because someone says they are so without getting to know the person ourselves?
Here’s an example of a judgment statement that I have heard: All Disney stars grow up and go wild. Implying that being a Disney star makes the person go wild rather than that many Disney stars seem to choose to go wild. One labels all people with the common trait of having been a Disney star; the other notices a common trend but lends weight to personal choice. It’s our choices that show who we truly are far more than our abilities. I have the ability to write. I can choose to use that writing to compose pieces that are hateful, slanderous, judgmental, and bigoted; or I can choose to write pieces that are encouraging, uplifting, nonjudgmental, truthful, helpful, etc. The ability is not what makes me who I am. How I chose to use my ability is what makes me who I am. And, by the way, not all Disney stars go wild we just hear about the ones that do.
Don’t be Ernie or listen to/participate in Ernie-like talk. Give everyone a fair shot. We’ve all got some good and bad in us. No one is perfect. Treat others as you would like to be treated, extending as much grace for wrongs as you would like extended to you.
We aren’t our abilities. We are what we choose to do with our abilities. Harry was a Parselmouth who triumphed over Slytherin’s heir, killing his monster, and restoring Hogwarts—including Ernie—to safety.
What is your ability? What are you going to do with it? Share your answer with us using #MNBHP.
Next Week: Becoming Harry Potter: Slytherin’s Heir?