What “Harry Potter” Teaches Us About Love
I’ve been going through a rough time lately, and I know I’m not the only one. I also know this whole article is going to sound cheesy, but bear with me if you can. I have had this on my mind since Lizzie G. wrote an inspiring piece on mental illness and depression, but recent events made me really think about it. I’d like to remind everyone, as well as myself, that we are not alone in our battles. That is why Harry Potter resonated with so many of us from the very beginning—it taught us not only to love others but to love ourselves throughout any situation as well.
Potter teaches us that nothing is perfect. Things change, people leave, and nothing is permanent. Sometimes we get confused and make mistakes. We cannot avoid our fate, whether good or bad. However, we can always count on love to lift us up from the darkest places.
Whenever we talk about Harry Potter, the conversation usually revolves around magic, right? We joke about moving pictures and playing sports on flying brooms. We ask questions like “What’s your favorite magical creature?” or “What would your Patronus be?” We wish we had a Time-Turner or a Cloak of Invisibility; we wish our wands would actually cast spells; we wish we had gotten a Hogwarts letter. We are so focused on the magic that we don’t have, we forget the magic that’s right within our own hearts. We have always had this magic and will always have it.
Why are we always so focused on what we don’t have? Is love not the greatest magic of all? You can’t bring someone back from the dead with love, but it can certainly save lives. Lily’s unconditional love for Harry creates an unbreakable, magical force so strong that it saves Harry’s life on multiple occasions. Even if Harry doesn’t remember the love he was showered with, it still left a great impact. This is one thing about love that J.K. Rowling taught me through this story: The love we give and receive leaves an impression, no matter how small. There’s an old saying that goes “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” This is because when we love, we create a better world through the care we give. We also learn through our experiences, and love is one of the purest feelings that someone could experience. Dumbledore told Harry to “pity those who live without love,” and those are truly words to live by.
Through all his trials, Harry sees this advice through. He never gives up hope, and he loves with all his heart. We all know this is what separates him from Lord Voldemort, but having such great compassion seems easier said than done. Harry does struggle through his journey but ultimately does not let himself become jaded by his negative past experiences. Even through adversity, Harry loves Ginny; Harry loves Ron and Hermione; Harry loves his parents, Sirius, and Dumbledore, without question. Harry even loves Snape after it all. Most importantly, however, Harry loves himself. Everyone could definitely take a page out of this book, so to speak, and learn to love without reservations—without fear.
Sure, heartbreak is a risk in life. However, don’t be afraid of the fall and stay true to yourself, or else you’re not really living.