Five Essential Ways to Be More Sirius
It goes without saying that Harry Potter has been a massive part of my life since I was a little girl. In 2010, I became godmother to a little girl named Mel, and it seemed only natural that I would pass the wonders of J.K. Rowling’s world on to her almost three years ago. Although I have always appreciated the Potter world, I never realized the impact it had on me until Mel came into my life – particularly one of my favorite characters, Sirius Black. Here are five ways we can all be the Sirius to the Harry in our lives.
1. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on” (Order of the Phoenix).
Mel is now seven years old and is beginning to realize that people don’t always behave like they should and aren’t always the people we hope they will be. As Sirius went on to say, the world isn’t split into heroes and villains – life isn’t anywhere near that simple. We all experience an entire slew of negative emotions, but having those emotions does not make us bad people; it is what we do with our feelings and impulses that makes us who we truly are.
2. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” (Goblet of Fire 525).
Just because someone is nice to you, doesn’t necessarily make them a good person. Paying attention to how someone treats those that they see as beneath them says much more about their character than how they treat those whom they see as superior or equal. Personally, this has been one of the most difficult life lessons to learn and an area where we Siriuses should strive to lead by example – be kind to the Kreachers in your life.
3. “But know this; the ones that love us never really leave us” (Prisoner of Azkaban).
Death has been a mystery for centuries and one we all have to come to accept. People find comfort through a myriad of coping mechanisms, but it can be difficult to look past our own emotions to think about the kind of example we are setting for those looking up to us. Through our reactions, we can show the Harry in our lives that it is okay to cry, to go through the stages of grief, to get the emotions out rather than keep them bottled inside until we start destroying offices. Sirius’s words are ones we can all keep in mind during the difficult times.
4. “What is life without a little risk?” (Order of the Phoenix)
Growing up is a combination of gambles – relationships, schools, majors, plane rides, driving… The list goes on and on. It is impossible to grow as a person without taking the risks, without getting that degree, without traveling, without having a lifetime of experiences and adventures. While we should teach our Harry to be smart about which risks they chose to take, we should also encourage them to not let fear make decisions for them and to see their failures as lessons that are only going to help them in the future.
5. “Like the fact that the person Sirius cared for the most about in the world was you” (Order of the Phoenix 831).
Above all, I hope Mel grows up knowing my love for her. Being a godparent is a special role, one that neither Sirius nor I take lightly. I agreed to be in my goddaughter’s life as a mentor, a confidant, a playmate, and at times a mother. At the end of the day, the older Mel gets, the more I understand Sirius’s love, dedication, and willingness to defend Harry to the end. So whether your Harry is a child, godchild, best friend, sibling, or anyone trying to find their way, whoever your Harry is, be a Sirius. Be a source of light, love, optimism, safety, and fun, even during the hard times. Try to live in a way that ensures everything ends with a smile.