It’s always sad when a well-respected figure passes on, be it someone you know personally, or an actor you’re used to seeing on your screen. Today’s loss of Alan Rickman -majorly recognized for his unforgettable part as Professor Snape in Harry Potter-, has shocked the world, with mourning Harry Potter fans across the globe uniting to remember his glorious role as the Potions master.
It would be very easy to take many of the meaningful and sad notions from the series and describe the pain of losing such a talent. Instead, I want to re-iterate the marvelous life lessons that J.K Rowling has taught us through the pages of her books.
Anything can happen:
The rules of the wizarding world aren’t too different to our own, despite our lack of wands and witches. Many things that occur in our lives are unexpected, and whether we’re getting ready for a trip around the world or a duel with a dragon, we should be prepared for anything.
Death doesn’t discriminate:
Unless you’re Harry Potter himself (or a surgically attached supporting character), you’re never entirely safe from having your life cut short. It might seem that you and your family, or best friend are inseparable, but no amount of love or friendship can protect someone if it’s their time to go.
Cherish every moment:
If there’s one thing that pretty much all of us are guilty of, it’s complaining too much. Whether it’s how much our first-world existences suck, or how our parents won’t stop bugging us, we’re too quick to fall into the more depressing side of our days. Just remember that you will always be more fortunate than other people: even if our parents do our heads in, people like Harry never got to experience that.
Magic doesn’t have to be real:
No matter how much we beg for the power to wave a fancy twig and have our lost car keys to fly to our hand, to blast holes in walls or to erase people’s memories, it’s not going to happen. What we can take from Harry Potter, is that we have to make our own magical moments. It could be watching a sunset from the top of a hill. It could be laughing with a group of friends until you’re all on the ground. It could even be that time you threw caution to the wind and ate an entire pizza pie (guilty). Failing that, do what J.K Rowling did and create your own world.
Anyone can be a hero:
One of my favorite moments in the books is when Neville Longbottom stands up to Voldermort. He didn’t whip out any expert spells, outsmart the Dark Lord, or even intimidate him. He stood up for what was right, and in the process inspired his peers to fight beside him (then he went bad-ass and killed Nagini). He was a true hero, even if he was portrayed as a skittish, pathetic boy for most of the storyline. There’s a lesson there: you should never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, and you’re probably capable of more than you think.
Forgive and forget:
Then there’s Professor Snape. A lot of us spent the majority of our childhoods despising him, both for his cruelty and his likeness to our least favorite teacher at school. When we are finally graced with his incredible backstory (and the fact that Harry’s Dad was a complete dick to him), everything falls into place, and we grovel for forgiveness in his memory. Sometimes, people may seem like our enemies in what they do to us, but they may in fact be looking out for our best interests. Remember that the next time you tell somebody to mind their own business.