10 Words of Wisdom from Albus Dumbledore

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By Addah Arcilla | August 11, 2014 12:08 PM EST

Cassidy Stay, the sole survivor of her family's massacre in Texas, received a letter from "Harry Potter" character Albus Dumbledore after she quoted him in her family's funeral. The letter was sent by J.K. Rowling, in the voice of Dumbledore and penned in purple ink, after a social media campaign was launched to urge Rowling to meet with Cassidy.

It's no surprise that Cassidy has found comfort and wisdom from the words of the beloved Hogwarts Headmaster. J.K. Rowling created him to be the epitome of goodness. Indeed, throughout all seven novels, Dumbledore has always been a champion of goodness and a source of wisdom for all those who look up to him.

Here are another ten of Dumbledore's wisest and most insightful quotes, which hopefully also brings you strength and courage as it had brought Cassidy.

1. "It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" 

Dumbledore reminds us that it is not our social status, the amount of money we make, the job that we keep, our ability in sports or good looks that determines who we are or the direction of our lives. Rather, it is the choices that we make, whether big or small, that determines our character.

2. "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we all must face the choice between what is right and what is easy." - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Dumbledore says this to the students at Hogwarts after he learns of the return of Voldemort. He knows that victory over evil and tyranny can only be achieved by keeping true to one's ideals and integrity and standing up for what is right.

3. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." - "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"

Dumbledore tells us that it is good to have dreams and goals that we strive for. Yet he also reminds us that working for the future should not get in the way of us taking pleasure in the present. Remember that all we have for sure is now. The future is too far off to give us anything for certain.

4. "Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open." - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In this quote Dumbledore is telling us that diversity is all right. Differences in race, religion, political affiliation or educational background are natural, and it should never be a hindrance to unity and working together for the common good.

5. "We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on." - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

Dumbledore reminds us that we must not let our troubles overcome us, that no matter how bad the situation is, there's always hope for salvation in the end.  It's easy to wallow in grief and self-pity when we are faced with life's troubles. But staying in that state won't help us get out of it either. We must strive to move past our anguish and carry on living because after all, nothing is permanent in this world, not even pain.

6. "It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated." - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

Dumbledore tells us that tyranny and oppression are rarely easily triumphed over, especially when they are fueled by fear and uncompromising ideals. Yet whatever evil we're struggling with, whether it's poverty, terrorism, discrimination, apathy or brokenness, the only way to overcome it is to continue the fight and never give up even when it seems hopeless.

7. "Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness." - "Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix"

Death is final. It actually provides respite from all the troubles in this world. When we're dead we don't have to worry about poverty, starvation, sickness, neglect, indifference or injustice. Rather, living without love and compassion for yourself and your fellow man is far worse than death because it entails a life that is full of struggles and an isolated existence.

8. "I sometimes find, and I'm sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind...at these times...I use the Pensive. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure." - "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Dumbledore demonstrates to us the importance of reflecting on our own actions. Sometimes we just have to sit back and assess our past actions through objective lens and see how it has affected us, how it has affected other people, and what this has taught us about ourselves and life in general. It is through reflection that we learn and know ourselves.

9. "It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more." - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

Dumbledore has cut down two of humanity's greatest fears down to the unknown. It's human nature to fear what we don't know. The unknown can easily branch out to almost anything-pain, sickness, loneliness, failure, disappointment-the list just goes on and on. We are afraid of the dark because we don't know what's out there. Similarly, we are scared of death because nobody has ever come back from the dead to tell us what's it like on the other side. This fear of the unknown stops us from moving forward and opening ourselves to new ideas.

10. "After all to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." - "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"

Death is one of humanity's greatest fears because of the doubt of what comes after this life. Dumbledore reminds us that life does not end in death, but it's only a transition into another great adventure-an adventure in the life in the hereafter. Although there's an overwhelming consensus of human thought and religion that points to the reality of an afterlife, but this may be something that Dumbledore isn't a hundred percent sure of. Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that life in this world continues on to another life of peace and happiness.

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