J.K. and Harry: The Real Story

>  Physician and writer, Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.”   As good as any lead into a discussion of the seven “Harry Potter” books written by J.K.Rowling.
   Filled with the the classic struggles between good and evil found throughout literature, the series clearly took the world by storm. Since 1995, “Harry Potter” has been a household name commanding unprecedented revenues in print and film royalties. J.K. Rowling, it’s author, went from financial struggle to financial independence in meteoric fashion. 
   It’s actually Rowling’s story that I wish had all the attention, rather than Harry’s. Her story is one of education, adversity, perseverance, creativity, responsibility and, ultimately, belief in oneself as the sure road to triumph.
   In her real life story, there are no magic cloaks, wands or potions. There is only the day in and day out effort of a woman who, in spite of a failed marriage and desperate financial hardship, refused to deny her gift or give up on her passion. 
   J.K. Rowling’s life is filled with themes and messages that act as beacons for those of us searching for a way to move beyond our immediate circumstances. They stand as testimony to the indomitability of the human spirit when propelled by creativity.
   Yes, I know Harry’s story is exciting. I have a 14-year-old daughter who has read all seven books and can regurgitate plot and character detail at warp speed and with mind-boggling detail.  And while I love that she reads so much (and so regularly) it’s Oliver Wendell Holmes’ quote that causes me to stop and reflect.
   While she knows the Latin(?) names for Hermione’s spells and who was really good and who was only faking at being good but was really from the dark side…I’ve not noticed once, throughout all seven books, “not the thought which it contains but the thought which it suggests.” And I think Holmes would support my pause and reflection.  
   “Harry Potter” is really all about magic, fantasy, escape, and violence. Yes, I know we could take both the high road and the time to unearth more worthy themes. But why bother?  The life of it’s author is pure inspiration on it’s face…no time or excavation necessary. 
   In a world filled with so much violence, materialism, and impatience, we should pay more attention to the messages we bring to the children as we and they shape their minds and values for what lay ahead. You and I know there are no magic formulas that, once spoken, get us what we want. There are only intention, attention, and deeds that, when combined, work a kind of magic called co-creation.
   J.K.Rowling is a woman who loved reading and writing so much she went on to teach them in both England and France. A woman who continued to pursue her passion after divorce, writing in restaurants so she and her child could keep warm. A woman who never stopped believing in her creativity or herself. A woman who’s unyielding belief catapulted her to international acclaim and financial reward beyond imagination…hers or ours. 
   Hers is the story that warrants attention and repetition. 
   Oh, and by the way, it’s true.

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