Life lessons from Albus Dumbledore that will stay with you always

[Editor’s note: Michael Gambon, who played Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films (our ultimate fictional mentor and favorite wizards of all time!) has announced that he will be retiring from stage theater. And we’re pretty devastated. According to ABC News, Gambon is suffering from major memory loss, and it’s affecting his ability to memorize lines. ABC reports, “In 2009, he had two visits to the hospital after he suffered panic attacks following episodes where he forgot his lines.” 

The situation is incredibly sad, but we will never forget the glory and magic Gambon brought to the stage and screen, from Harry Potter to Fantastic Mr. Fox to The King’s Speech (his IMBD page is seriously impressive). And speaking of magic, let’s show some love for one of his most beloved roles, Albus Dumbledore. Because he will be with us forever.]

In the pantheon of wise old wizards, Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is right up there with Gandalf and Merlin for me. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I GREW UP with the Harry Potter series, and that I specifically looked forward to whatever life lessons the great Dumbledore would impart. .

I remember when my dad brought home the first book, and once he started reading it, both my sister and I were hooked. I was drawn into Harry Potter’s story, but it wasn’t just the magic that I loved. It was also the struggles Harry and his friends faced growing up as teenagers in a tough world. It didn’t matter if Harry was dealing with girl problems or a difficult subject at Hogwarts — or even how to beat You-Know-Who — I could always count on him receiving wisdom from an old man with twinkling blue eyes who wore half-moon eyeglasses and brilliantly colored robes. That’s my Dumbledore. And here’s what I’ve learned from him through the years:

On living practically: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

On looking to the future: “The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

On hope:Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

On grief: “You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

On nature versus nurture: “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

On what makes us different (makes us beautiful): “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

On unity: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

On patience: Don’t count your owls before they are delivered.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

On the power of words: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It goes without saying that I will never, ever get over Dumbledore’s fate. J.K. Rowling, you wreck me.

[Albus Dumbledore image via; Dumbledore gif via; Dumbledore gif via; Dumbledore and Harry gif via.]

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