Sunday, August 1, 2010

I am a Potter-ite?!

I had an extended conversation recently with someone who was trying to explain their feelings and beliefs, perhaps to justify a set of unpopular decisions.  And then I had an epiphany--I didn't really care what this person believed or felt.  What I cared about was what he/she had done and would do.  I realized that JK Rowling, in the teachings received by Harry Potter, reminded me that it is not our thoughts but our actions that count. 
It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.  Chamber of Secrets.
One can have all kinds of beliefs, but if one does not alter one's actions based on the lessons of the past, then what is the point?  Unfortunately, the person with whom I was conversing was not a Harry Potter fan, so I could not use that example to persuade him/her that the key would be a change in behavior.  Of course, since the cognitive consistency here was so deep, so much more than confirmation bias, the invoking of Harry Potter and JK Rowling could not/would not have an impact.

Just as it was the pursuit of Horcruxes not Hallows, it is the behavior and the decisions that matter.  Does that make me a Potter-ite, a believer in Rowling-ism?  I don't know.  The personal moment of clarity was, of course, combined with extreme frustration.  


Steve Greene said...

What a great quote. I'm frustrated anew in re-reading book 3 to David, in which Quidditch plays a major role, in what an utterly absurd sport it is. I truly think only a non-sports fan could have created this and I'm surprised Rowling's initial editors let it go. With a scoring system like this, you might as well have 5 people from each team sitting on the ground just watching the seekers. Or alternatively, the chasers would be much smarter to spend their time harassing the opponent's seeker.

Anonymous said...

Having never read Harry Potter, I can only assume Rowling was original in some ways other than this philosophy. From Sartre's you are what you do to the Bible's "Ye shall know them by their fruits", many have covered this ground. Has Rowling's tasty chocolate prose disguised the fruity, religious center?