While you never need a reason to re-read the Harry Potter series, between J.K. Rowling’s political tweets and booksellers recommending Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as a story relevant to present events, the Trump Era seems like the perfect time to arm ourselves with the magic, guidance, and lessons this series offers. May these quotes remind you of the importance of friendship, love, loyalty, and bravery. May they also remind you to express kindness to everyone, whether a muggle, muggle-born, house-elf, acromantula, or Draco Malfoy. And most of all, may you always find what you’re looking for in a book.
“Ah, music, a magic beyond all we do here!” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
It’s a great reminder that music and other art are some of the most important things we can give to the world and delight in ourselves. As all the wizards and witches got to choose their own tune, may you find your own medium or genre to express yourself and take solace in.
“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
While Dumbledore never had to worry about Death Eaters attacking him on Twitter for using Voldemort’s name in a tweet, I think it’s important to remember that we need to call things what they are, whether it’s Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or fascism.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Neville’s character growth throughout the series is one of my favorites, and the baby steps he takes in the first book are a great reminder as friends and relatives applaud and continue to side with Trump. Find some of that Gryffindor courage and discuss politics with your loved ones.
“Because that’s what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library.” —Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
When problems seem too great or too confusing, let us remember to do as Hermione does, and go to the library.
“You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
You do not have to do anything alone. Ask for help, and you will find it.
“Which goes to show that the best of us must sometimes eat our words.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
As we are all learning and growing as people, it’s important to acknowledge that at times we may have to admit to faults in our words and actions.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Even if you feel incapable or unprepared, you can still make good choices.
“I must say, You-Know-Who alone and friendless is one thing… but give him back his most devoted servant, and I shudder to think how quickly he’ll rise again…” —Cornelius Fudge, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
As we pay close attention to our government, we must remember that the president with a cabinet, Congress, and a country called Russia full of allies is more dangerous than just the president himself.
“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
There tends to be a lot of guilt about not stopping our current political state from occurring. Despite our ability to understand how it came to be, at the time, there was no way of knowing how things would go. So we must let go of that guilt and focus on what’s happening now and what might lie in our future.
“Really, Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Being more vocal about your opinions and beliefs makes you quite vulnerable. However, don’t let the negativity keep you from going out in the world and doing what needs to be done.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” —Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
From friends to politicians, let this piece of advice guide us in seeing who is truly good.
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
It’s important for us to understand the events playing out before us so that we can then know the right way to proceed.
“You are blinded by the love of the office you hold, Cornelius! You place too much importance, and you have always done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
With identity at the core of so many issues, let us remember that actions, not nationality, skin color, religion, sexuality, gender, or other fragments of who we are can define what we go on to do.
“Time is short, and unless the few of us who know the truth stand united, there is no hope for any of us.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
As our country and world seems more fractured than ever, it is important that we work hard to unite.
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
As legislation is proposed and passed regarding our borders, we cannot let that close off our hearts to others, no matter how foreign and different they are.
“I don’t want it and I don’t need it. But I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to need them more than usual before long.” —Harry Potter, giving Fred and George Weasley his Triwizard winnings, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
While we donate to organizations like Planned Parenthood and ACLU, we cannot forget to support or enjoy the arts whether it’s comedians, musicians, writers, actors, artists, or creators of any kind. And don’t feel guilty for taking time to delight in jokes or books or music. We all need to take breaks from the darkness.
“Indifference and neglect often do more damage than outright dislike.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Caring for others and offering time and attention to those who need it may be one small way to prevent others from choosing violence and hate as a way to be heard and loved.
“Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I hope we all can find the courage to rise up and strike back against our oppressors in our own ways. #resist
“It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.” —Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
While it’s unlikely we’ll ever solve all of the world’s problems or achieve world peace, that doesn’t mean we should stop working toward making the world more good than evil.
“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters’. We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” —Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
From the Black Lives Matter movement to the outcry against the Muslim Ban, we must continue to remember we are all humans, we are all equals, we all matter, and we all deserve to live.
“The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope. I used to notice that when you did it, Harry.” —Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
No matter how bleak something seems, we must keep protesting, calling our representatives, resisting, and doing whatever else we can to stand up, so other may know there still is hope. You never know when your actions may inspire others to act as well.
“That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
With talk of Trump wanting to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, and NPR, we must remember the value and power that lies within the arts and work to protect it.
“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” —Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
As we continue to vote on leaders, we must be cognizant of their motivations for pursuing these positions, because the selfish desires of power and fame do not lead to actions that consider the good of everyone.
Just as information about The Deathly Hallows was tucked away in a children’s book, don’t let the words of these fictional characters weigh any less than the speeches, letters, and tweets of politicians, celebrities, creators, friends, and family who continue to resist. Help will always be found at Hogwarts and there is magic in all of us.
Featured Image: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated) by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay