As usual, when life gets too stressful to handle (or too hectic or too mundane or a lot of other things), I turn to my favorite books to cope: Harry Potter. For me, it’s like hanging out with an old friend, but my stories about books can wait for another time.
Since I read Harry Potter while I was in London, I’ve read all seven books at least once a semester, sometimes twice, and always over the summer. As graduation was a stressful time, happy, of course, but stressful too, I naturally turned to my old friends to get me through the sleepless nights. Last week, I finished reading them.
Every time I read them, I find something newly applicable to the world. Something that was there before but didn’t really click until now. I’ve read all these words many times, but every time, something different sticks.
This time, it was a quote from Kingsley in the Deathly Hollows.
[Here come some spoilers.]
So in this scene, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run and they finally manage to tune into Potterwatch, the illegal, underground radio station dedicated to telling the news like it is and encouraging people to do what is good and right. All the people involved have code names, because who wants to go to Azkaban, right. Kingsley is called Royal and he’s encouraging the wizarding community to protect Muggles (non-wizards) in addition to each other. So here comes the scene, straight out of the book:
“What would you say, Royal, to those listeners who reply that in these dangerous times, it should be ‘Wizards first’?” asked Lee.
“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first’ and then to ‘Death Eaters,'” replied Kingsley. “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
In light of what happened in Orlando, and what seems to keep happening around the world, I pose the same question. We’re all human, aren’t we? I don’t understand why bad things happen. It doesn’t make sense to me. But I do see the outpouring of love and support and I have faith that love and goodness will have to win.
We are all human, plain and simple. In times of great joy we should celebrate with each other and in times of tragedy we should mourn and support each other.
My prayers and those of so many others are with the families of those involved in the tragedy in Orlando. Additionally, I’m thinking of and praying for the first responders and people of Orlando as they struggle to understand the senselessness of this act.