Friday, August 23, 2013

Harry Potter and Me

I just finished reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for the umpteenth time.  I couldn’t tell you the exact number of times I’ve the series as it would be rather difficult.  One thing I can say though is that I was already all grown up when I read the first book.
I’m one of those late fans who saw the first couple of movies before I actually read any of the books.  In my defense, when the first movie was released, Harry Potter was unheard of where I come from.  A friend of mine had read some of the books before the movie was released, but we were all at college at the time.
I will not go about saying that Harry Potter changed my life dramatically or that the book series helped save my life or something like that.  No, what the series of books and movies did, was give me something to distract me from day to day life specially on those boring days where I had nothing to do, it filled my hours with extraordinary adventures, laughs and tears.  It gave me something to bond with my sister.  It gaves us inside jokes that not many people understand.
At the time when I first read the first book it made me think of a lot of things.  I think that what I like best about these books is that they are really timeless and that’s why they made great movies, which is also why I think they appeal to both kids and adults alike. The troubles they face as people, (leaving  out the magic) is very relatable.  How you were bullied at school and how you come about making friendships that will last a lifetime.
 What would you do when facing a great evil?  Would you hide?  Would you stand up and fight?  Or would  you do the unthinkable and join the other side?  Every time I’ve read each of the books, I’ve learned something about myself.  Granted these are not self help books or filled with tips to help you get through the day to day, but as I’ve grown, I’ve seem to understand a bit more about the characters and their actions and how that reflects upon how I act in real life and my relationship with my kids and my parents.
We are living in an age where taking a stroll down the block is unthinkable.  Walking by yourself after dark is considered a great stupidity on your part as you are setting yourself up to bad things happening to you.  Evil lurks in every corner and we don’t have magic wands to produce a patronus to protect ourselves from  a real life dementor that wants to eat our souls.
  We lare living in an age where we are not sure who to trust and it’s sad to think that our children don’t have the same liberties we had.  But it’s been coming for a while.  I hear stories from when my mom and dad were young and I can’t believe they got to do all the stuff they could do back then.  Things I wasn’t allowed to do and things that my kids won’t ever even consider doing.
Granted, the violence may have been more explosive when I was young with the internal conflict and all that stuff.  But even if a peace treaty was signed between the government and the paramilitar forces, it doesn’t really mean anything when you have people being gunned down for a cell phone.  Bus drivers begin killed because they don’t have the money to pay off the extorsionists.  It’s incredible that even the gangsters are expecting a Christmas bonus at the end of the year.
Anyway, I think I’m getting a bit off track here, but the point is that given the current situation, the Harry Potter books actually give me a bit of hope.  They give me a couple of hours of peace of mind.  They inspire me to do other things and they awake my creativity as nothing else has.
I know it sounds silly, and it probably is.  The Harry Potter books help me look at the troubles of life with a different perspective.  To know that your loved ones never really leave you and they are within you to help you face your greatest fears.  To know that everything happens for a reason.  That even though you may not understand what is going on, everything will unfold and make sense in the end.  You have to be prepared to accept what was meant to be and fight for what you believe to be right and true.  And never forget that love is the ultimate weapon against evil.

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