Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
For me, this is the first ‘big boy’ book of the series. We get the first POV chapters for Lord Voldemort, a brave but successful ploy by JK. We get death and the first sense of a more real and imminent threat from the Dark Lord.
Harry is also placed into even more dangerous situations, competing for the TriWizard cup, and the discovery of the opposite gender is an interesting side plot for our main characters.
Here is Hermione at her witty best on this topic!
“Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!”
And dragons, portkeys, unforgivable curses…the list is endless, as it always is with JK and her imagination.
But we know all of this. We’ve all read the books…so what did I learn this time?
Well, this one line stuck out to me. One, because it’s one of the main events of the book, but also because of the wise message lying in the words of the ever astute Dumbledore.
“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”
And how often in our lives do we do the opposite of this? We ignore a small indiscretion to avoid conflict…because it’s easier. It happens all the time in my job as a teacher. The issue is that when people do this, over and over, that small indiscretion amplifies into something bigger and harder to handle. So then stopping it is all the much more difficult. I have seen and experienced this myself. Sometimes doing what is right, will cause conflict, it will make you less popular or whatever, but sometimes, not always, but sometimes you just have to do what’s right rather than what’s easy.
Many of you reading this are authors or readers. And you’ll have experienced this, over and over, when choosing to read a book or not. When choosing to do that last edit or not. When deciding whether to write today or not.
You know within yourself what the right thing to do is…but you choose to do the easier thing. You put on the TV. You pour a glass of wine. You go to bed early. You snooze that early alarm, set so that you could get up early and accomplish something.
Every day we are faced with this choice, whether small or big, inconsequential or exponential, and how we answer it defines us as a person. I know that I don’t always make the right choice. I do often choose the easy option.
But re-reading this book has reminded me of the power we wield with our choices. Harry makes the tough choices most of the time. And that’s what makes him a hero.
Will you be a hero today? Make the right choice, not the easy one.