Get the jabs in now, but I’ll admit it: I’m a Harry Potter fan. I’ve heralded (rightly or wrongly so…it’s my perception so it’s my reality…deal with it) that Harry Potter is the greatest literary achievement of our generation (in speaking of it’s widespread influence in vernacular, identification and in my opinion: the right story for the times).
All this being said, this isn’t the point of this post.
I haven’t found many to understand my take on this facet of the story, but I think it illustrates something I’ve been pondering for a while now.
I’ve been thinking about admirable virtues. You know, the character qualities individuals can possess and exhibit that other people are impressed by, that make them praiseworthy.
I asked Michael Hindes once what the most important character quality to have was, in his opinion. Without hesitation he answered “loyalty.” Hmm…that was a good choice.
In Harry Potter, the four houses of Hogwarts are defined by some admirable virtue. Almost every book references them. The children in the story are sorted by which characteristic they have the most potential to develop, what will drive and motivate them. They have a magical way of determining their placement: a sorting hat. The hat is able to see down to their deepest makeup and the hat decides where they are best suited…
…with the exception of Harry Potter…in fact, it’s critical to the storyline that the sorting hat actually has difficulty in placing Harry. We learn that at the critical moment of truth, the hat actually changes its mind (just go with it) because Harry chooses who he would rather be. It’s an interesting commentary on victimization and empowerment. Can you be a person of character? Can you choose who you’ll be and how you’ll behave?
It’s led me to a question about the virtues I value…and the person I want to be.
Virtue: HARD WORKING Virtue: COURAGE
Virtue: WISDOM Virtue: AMBITION
I like these. In fact, in some sense, I prize all of these and want these to be true of my life.
I’m not sure I have a conclusion here but I do have a recommendation. It’s my personal challenge to determine my top three most admirable virtues. I want you to do the same. Leave a comment and list your top three. I’m curious to see what you say and see the things you value.
My thought is this: it may not be important what you value, but that you value something.
As an addendum, it may not be as important what you value as long as you’ve decided what’s important.