9:45 am EDT, July 31, 2019

39 valuable lessons ‘Harry Potter’ taught me

The lessons within the Harry Potter series are still incredibly relevant, years later.

I had no idea what kind of journey awaited me when I sat down with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the very first time. I could not have predicted the impact that the unassuming hero that was dropped off at Four Privet Drive would have on my life, from that point onward. Never would I have believed that I would be sitting years, and decades later, still reflecting on the story.

There’s no question that the series has changed my life, and the lives of countless other fans across generations. The boy who lived and the woman who dreamed him into life, J.K. Rowling, have given us midnight movie screenings where we made friends who were equally as enthralled with the series, podcasts that helped us learn how to think critically, analyze, and theorize, theme parks where we can now go experience the magical world in person, and rooms full of merchandise that we’ll cherish forever.

Related: All the Harry Potter trivia you need for your next party

Most importantly, they gave us seven books full of an incredible story that made us laugh, cry, dream, and speculate. A story that connected us to the crazy, brilliant, amazing people that we still call the Harry Potter fandom. A story that taught us the valuable lessons which carried us through the wonder of childhood and the messiness of adolescence into adulthood as better people than we would’ve been without this series.

These are lessons that we haven’t, and will hopefully never leave behind. They’re with us #always. The mischief will never be managed. Every time we dive back into the pensieve that is the Harry Potter books, we’re reminded of the lessons that form an integral part of our foundation.

Here are 39 of the most important lessons I learned from the Harry Potter series.

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39 lessons ‘Harry Potter’ taught me

  1. Love conquers hate.
  2. Boys and girls can be just friends and they can pull off some pretty incredible things when they work together.
  3. The wise old wizard you think has all the answers is actually just guessing a lot of the time, and has made quite a few mistakes along the way.
  4. “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.” People are complicated and nuanced. Don’t rush to judge those around you.
  5. It is our choices, and not just our abilities, that make us who we truly are. What we choose not to do is just as much a part of who we are as what we choose to do.
  6. “It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”
  7. Mothers will go to absolutely any lengths to protect their children.
  8. Sometimes, the government and the press are operating for interests other than those of the public. Be mindful of what you read and don’t blindly trust somebody just because they’re in a position of power.
  9. A little kindness can go a long way. When you show true kindness to those who some might perceive to be beneath you, their appreciation and loyalty could end up changing or even saving your life.
  10. “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
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  12. “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
  13. Family comes in many forms.
  14. Knowing or assuming too much about the future or trying to change the past can lead to some huge issues. It’s better to live in the present and take things as they come.
  15. The shy, nerdy guy and the strange, quirky girl could turn out to be the bravest and the smartest people you know.
  16. “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
  17. Chocolate can fix pretty much anything.
  18. Even though somebody’s not great at school, they could be the smartest person in the room and start an epic magical joke shop one day.
  19. The person you might think is the villain has a lot going on that you don’t know about.
  20. You should never dumb yourself down to impress somebody or fit in. The world needs your brain and the ones who are worth it will see your value.
  21. Some rules are made to be broken.
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  23. The ones who seek power usually aren’t the ones who are the most capable of wielding it responsibly.
  24. “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
  25. Sometimes you will have to choose between what is right and what is easy, and you should be prepared to make the right choice.
  26. There are far more important things than “books and cleverness.” Friendship, bravery, loyalty, and determination can mean a lot more.
  27. True friendship means that sometimes you might mess up, and even go your separate ways, but you can always come back and ask for forgiveness.
  28. “Humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”
  29. Love leaves a mark. Whether it’s someone’s love for you or your love for someone else, it can change you forever.
  30. The truth is a powerful thing and “must be handled with great caution.” Too much honesty can hurt somebody unnecessarily and too little can leave somebody very unprepared. It’s so difficult to navigate that even wise wizards get it wrong sometimes!
  31. The scars from your past can come in handy in the future.
  32. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The half-giant and his intimidating dog are just a couple of big softies.
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  34. Fear makes people do crazy, unpredictable, and terrible things, including hiding or ignoring the truth.
  35. A life spent trying to avoid death is only half a life.
  36. The things inside of our head are just as “real” and important as anything else happening around us.
  37. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
  38. Curiosity can lead to some pretty amazing discoveries.
  39. Trying to trick somebody into loving you will never work.
  40. Never take advantage of those who are weaker than you, even if society says it’s okay.
  41. It can be easy to be manipulated by charming people who dress harmful ideas up in pretty packaging. Know who you are and what you stand for.
  42. A story about love, friendship, and hope, if it’s the right one, can unite millions of people across continents and generations.

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