The 4 Houses of Hogwarts

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.

7 Replies to “The 4 Houses of Hogwarts”

  1. Jimmy, love this man! Lots of good stuff to ponder and decided what’s important. Keep these posts coming too…love this blog! Now I know what you’re working on in your office 🙂

  2. You would be in Slytherin. We already decided this.

    Also… I value courage and loyalty. I think what you value is evidenced in your own life. Back to your statement about victimization or empowerment… you have decided, either on purpose or by choosing to do nothing on purpose, what values are evidenced in your life. You’ve decided already what you think is important. The question is whether or not you’re happy with the results. At any point you can choose to make that change.

    Humm… thinking. : ) Good post. Obviously I was going to read it if it was about Harry Potter.

  3. Out of the list you have, I value courage, wisdom, and hard-working as my top three. I think loyalty can be apart of courage, because it takes courage to make the decision to be loyal to someone or something. 😀

    Great post! 😀

  4. I value NOT Slytherin. Just don’t put me in Slytherin. That’s where the bullies and bad kids are. And their teacher-sponsor is that creepy guy who spends all his free time working with his creepy lab set in his creepy dungeon. Please Jimmy…I don’t know what the right answer is….just don’t let me be in Slytherin. I’ll be good I promise.

    With that being said (and just to be clear, I don’t want to be in Slytherin), I can’t agree with you it’s the greatest literary deal of our day, but I won’t hold it against you for thinking that. So more power to ya for promoting that.

    Now…virtues? I think my number one has to be wisdom right now. Wisdom to know when to act and when to wait ,or when to speak or not speak. Wisdom in when to risk (courage) and when to be cautious. Wisdom in in how to approach things with dignity, grace, compassion and conviction. Wisdom to pass on to others (hopefully some mini-me’s one day), to enrich and encourage them, and to provide solid structure for their lives. And recently my brother blew my mind by suggesting the possibility that it is wisdom (God’s wisdom, The Word) where passion/experience and logic/reason meet one another in harmonious unison. And I really like that idea. So, wisdom., right now, is my number one.

    Crap…that means I’m in Ravenclaw with all the nerds? Crap, that means I’M a nerd? Crap.

    This was a trick wasn’t it? (See, I KNEW I needed wisdom!)

    Also…I’m following your blog now.

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