In the latest installment of “Fantastic Beasts”, the secrets of Dumbledore come unravelled. In order to counter the powerful wizard Grindelwald, Dumbledore enlists the help of magizoologist Newt Scamander. In this article we have listed 5 life lessons from Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter. It reflects the journey of Dumbledore through the original Harry Potter series, and the pearls of wisdom he offered to us as hungry preteens reading the series.
5 Life Lessons From Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter:
Optimism and Hope
Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books is a symbol of guidance and light, of hope that Voldemort can be defeated and goodness can prevail. So when he says “Darkness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”, he isn’t merely talking about the Deluminator. He’s talking about life. He means that even during the toughest periods of our life, it is possible to experience joy and peace, if we just know where to look for it.
‘Turn on the light’ in this context can mean a lot of things. It could mean in friends and family, as Harry finds his comfort in Ron, Hermione, Neville, Lupin, Sirius, the Weasleys and even Dumbledore. Or it could also mean looking for the light within, being the light, which shines due to the intensity of its truth. This could be equated to the Deluminator metaphor, just as the Deluminator shines with the light of its surroundings, so must humans. Our light could also come from our actions – whether it means the practicing of a hobby or acts of service that illuminate the world. Most of all, this light means the steadfast flame of optimism and hope which helps us tide through even the worst of circumstances
And when we find our light, darkness, both literal and metaphorical can be dispelled. Albus Dumbledore’s invaluable teaching is thus optimism and hope, derived from others or ourselves, which can dispel the gloom in our lives.
Imagination and Creativity
Dumbledore has a lot to say about dreams. In Deathly Hallows, he says “Of course it’s going on in your head, Harry. But why on earth should that mean it isn’t real?” This quote plainly demonstrates his advocacy on imagination and creativity. Dumbledore believes that dreams create realities and that is why whatever is going on in the head should not be dismissed as unreal and unimportant. After all it is only through imagination that the Golden Trio gets past obstacles in ‘Philosopher’s Stone’. It is also through the use of creativity and innovative ways of thinking that Harry wins the Triwizard Tournament, or realizes who the Half-Blood Prince is.
Dumbledore also says that “It is in dreams that we enter a world that is truly our own”. This refers to the interiority of the dreamlike experience. It can be extended to dreams not only which occur when asleep but also when awake. Dreams are the only access pass we have to the universe that resides inside us, and the best way to understand ourselves and the world.
Love and Sacrifice
The whole of Harry Potter is based on the premise of love, sacrifice and bravery. It is Lily’s unconditional love for her son is what repels a powerful and evil force like Voldemort and sets the story into motion. And it is Harry’s sacrifices throughout the last book, with the help of several others, which enable his victory. In the process, countless lives are sacrificed too – Dobby, Snape, Sirius, Lupin and Fred. But their love is what justifies these sacrifices.
Dumbledore too, has a lot to say about love. Perhaps his most famous dialogue is “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living – and above all pity those who live without love.” This essentially means that a life without love is meaningless, it is worse than death. And it is Dumbledore’s love that guides Harry, his family and friends’ love that nourishes him and his parents’ love that gives him strength.
Choice and Self-Improvement
Dumbledore has a lot to say about choices, what we choose and its implications for our lives. At one point in the book, he says “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Thus he makes a distinction between two very similar, troubled boys – Tom Riddle and Harry Potter. But it is the choice they make – Harry chooses truth while Voldemort chooses evil and power – that make them who they are. Applying this to our lives to – it is important to have an internal locus of control. It is important not to blame destiny or fate or other external things and work instead with what is in our control.
Dumbledore says elsewhere that “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy”. This is a profound statement to make. Indeed, what is right and what is easy are often different things, because righteousness is a thorny path to tread. But what we choose has ultimate implications, for us and those around us.
Finally, Dumbledore says that “Words are, in my opinion, the most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of inflicting injury and remedying it”. Thus Dumbledore, who is one of the most powerful magicians ever, says that words are the most powerful magic. They can make relationships and break them, they can forge connections and disrupt them, they can bring a person to life or devastate him. Words, in the end, are what we must base our choices around.
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5 Life Lessons From Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter