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Harry Potter took the world by storm, first in a ‘children’s’ book and subsequently, due the enormous success, in a series of movies. Apart from enjoying the books and or movies, what can we learn from this wizard from ‘The cupboard under the stairs at 4 Privet Drive’?

1. It pays to keep certain things to yourself.

Even before he went to school, we learn this. Early one morning, Harry collects the post and receives his first letter. He walks through to the kitchen with an amazed expression on his face to hand the post to his uncle and gets the letter taken away and thrown in the fire. He could have (should have) taken it straight to cupboard and keep it to himself. Keeping things to yourself can be a very good thing to do but not too much. Secrets can lead to trouble if kept too long.

2. Fame is not everything.

Professor Snape makes a point of making this clear to Harry in his first Potions class. It is true because fame, even in reality, is not everything and will disappear if there is nothing to back it up. Just go back and look at ‘famous’ people of the 80’s or 90’s that no one remembers to see for yourself.

3. Do not be a hero.

If there is trouble brewing – turn and run the other way. This is Harry’s biggest flaw! This is also the biggest and most ridiculous mistake made in movies especially horror movies. If they are supposed to be going away from danger, Harry, Ron and Hermione will go directly to it leading them into some serious danger at times.

If you are trained for these situations e.g.: police, then do as you are trained but 9 times out of 10 you are not trained for it so get away after alerting the necessary authorities.

4. Friends come from the most unlikely backgrounds.

Harry meets 2 friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, on the first trip to school on the Hogwarts Express. They could not be more dissimilar. Ron from a magical family background, Hermione who had ‘muggle’ parents and who turned out to be super intelligent and Harry who had no parents and had no idea about magic. They turn out to be the best off friends by the end of their first year.

A lot of people who are friends are from very different backgrounds and possibly would not talk. They have something that brings them together and they stay friends forever, growing closer, the more they spend time together. I am sure you have friends like this.

5. A name will only get you so far.

As in the Harry Potter films, your name will only get you so far. Unfortunately in reality, this goes too far. The more connected the family or the fancier the school – often gets people further than it should. However, as in point 2 above, it will catch up with you. Harry did not get through exams because he was Harry Potter. Not even Prince William could do better even when his gran is the Queen of England! Your family name or the school / university will only get you so far.

 

Unfortunately for this blog post, most of these points led to a much more exciting series of blockbuster movies. The principles apply very aptly in the ‘real world’.

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