Harry Potter and Me: A Life Liberated

By Mouad
Rais

The Before Story

Before I delve into the immense impact that Harry
Potter
has had on my life, I must explain my background. I come from a
country where things like food are scarce; where life does not include the
luxury America provides. Instead, a country that hardens the heart and
demonstrates how harsh the world can really be. Morocco lacks numerous things
but most of all a voice for its people. Hovering over my people much like The
Party in George Orwell's 1984, our monarchial government defines
everything a country shouldn't place in a position of power. Understanding the
lack of success I would achieve there, my parents made a pact to bring me to
the most remarkable country on Earth. I stepped into the USA on August 28, 2000
at the age of five and ever since then my parents have taught me that by
leaving behind all their family and abandoning their secure jobs, their future
rest on my shoulders. It is a burden none of my peers can even begin to understand
and for years I searched for a way to express the pain that this burden carried
however I was unsuccessful until Harry Potter came along.

The Beginning

My tale begins on a Tuesday morning at Oakridge
Elementary School in the second grade. My teacher had come up with a project
for that semester in which we were to read a book and describe how it related
to our life. "Pick wisely' she explained, "because if you pick up the wrong
book you'll be burdened with reading another book." As you can imagine, the
only word I picked up was burdened and all of a sudden a surge of pain rushed
through me. Memories began to flood my mind, and I was reminded of my own
burden. That day, while exploring her bookshelves, I discovered Harry Potter
and the Philosopher's Stone
, and decided it would be my book because the
front cover looked appealing. I began reading the book immediately and became
extremely interested in it. I had finally found a way to escape the pain and
delve into a sophisticated world of Magic and Muggles. This book had shown me
the heart of J.K. Rowling's novels in that it reminded me of my life in many
ways. For example, Hogwarts seemed to be Harry's true home away from the
terrible treatment enacted by the Dursleys and in many instances the tale of Harry
Potter
was my Hogwarts away from my burden. I understood Harry's feeling of
not fitting in very much, and when Dumbledore spoke of the love that Lord
Voldemort would never know, I was utterly astounded. How much better was I than
Voldemort, for not embracing this burden like Harry had his own and instead
cursing it like Voldemort did with death? Sure life isn't all sunshine and
rainbows. It is a cruel and brutal world and no matter how tough you are, it
can really take its toll. From my experience, I have learned that the true
measure of a person's spirit is how hard he or she can get hit and keep moving
forward with optimism and sanguinity.

Over the years, the story of the Boy Who Lived
impacted my life by showing me the happiness that hope can give you. While
researching a paper one day, I came across a doctor by the name of Elisabeth
Kübler-Ross who had experienced the same burdens that I had to deal with, in
that she traveled from Switzerland to continue her studies. Kübler-Ross
perfectly depicts how Harry saved me by declaring, "People are like
stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the
darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from
within." 1 I had buried my feelings deep down inside and put
a smile on my face for so long that I forgot who I was and what I was doing
here. J.K. Rowling's novels aided me in ascertaining the true light inside me.
For example, through Harry she instilled bravery in me, and through Hermione
she taught me to make the best out of any situation I might come across. Also,
Rowling taught me humor always can help change a mood, through Ron. Her books
have brought tears to my eyes (and believe me, I rarely ever cry about anything
but the burden). The death of the great man Severus Snape in Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows
, showed me that to live a life of regret and
sadness is not to live at all. Rowling has given me hope for a future I could
not have imagined before. Sirius Black explained to Harry in Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix
, "You're not a bad person, just a good person
that bad things have happened to. The world isn't split into Death Eaters and
good people, we all have light and dark." 2 These examples
remind me to look to a bright future regardless of what obstacles I may face.

The Continuing Story¦

I am currently a sophomore and am involved in many
activities including football, track, and wrestling. I hope to one day become a
heart surgeon as well as a writer. Because of Harry Potter, I approach
life in the sense that I was meant to go through those obstacles, so that I may
become stronger for the challenges in my life ahead. I have learned to move
beyond my burden, and accept life as it comes. Harry Potter has inspired
me to write tales so that perhaps one day, I can return the favor to Rowling
and instill happiness and hope in someone else.

Notes:

1. Kübler-Ross, "Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Quotes -
BrainyQuote."

2. Yates, Order of the Phoenix.

Bibliography:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Directed by David Yates. Burbank: Warner Bros. Pictures,
2007.

Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. "Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Quotes
- BrainyQuote." Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote.
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/elisabeth_kublerross.html (Accessed 12 July 2011)

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.

”””. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. New
York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998.

Comments? You can discuss this essay on the Scribbulus forum here.





Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.