What makes Gryffindors brave in our muggle world?

Friday, July 18, 2014
Gryffindors are known to be brave at heart, says the Sorting Hat. The Golden Trio was placed into this house as well as many other characters: misft-turned-hero Neville Longbottom, all four of the Mauraders (Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter and Voldemort follower Peter Pettigrew), Lily Potter, the entire Weasley family, Albus Dumbledore - and shall we conclude that the list goes and on. So us fellow Gryffindor have a lot to live up to.

In our muggle world though, how do we remain brave at heart when wizarding evil doesn't lurk around every corner?

Some say that to be brave you must face your fears - well, this works when your biggest fears is stronger than your determination is to overthrow the most evil villain to ever almost rule the wizarding world. There weren't many quiet acts of heroism throughout the series. When we closer examine the characters and their individual fears - let's take the golden trio and Neville for example - they don't really have those moments of dealing with their everyday creatures, situations, or people that fills them with panic or terror:

- Harry's biggest fear is fear itself, which varies depending on the threat that presents itself. Some say his biggest fear was death, however that can be counteracted by the fact that he uses Voldemort's name freely throughout the series (never wailing on whether that is used to track him or not), and physically diving into situations without much pause.

- Hermione's biggest fear is not a failed test, but not living up expectations and getting expelled from Hogwarts - a place she has begun to find her grounding and self.

- Ron's phobia of spiders is never truly solved or eased - he never comes face to face with another eight legged freak after narrowly escaping The Forbidden Forest.

- Neville had to imagine Professor Snape as his grandmother in year three during the Boggarts class by Professor Lupin. The almost-chosen-one never has a confrontation with the teacher standing up to himself or someone else (the often belittled Granger, for one) within class.
Though the characters never had the absence of fears, they weren't really presented with opportunities to face those specific fears above throughout the series. 

This is not to say that during the long hard-fought battle against Lord Voldemort was easy as pie. Sure the characters faced anxieties and worries of their loved ones dying or coming gravely injured - Ron leaves Harry and Hermione temporarily (at the slight influence of wearing one of the Horcruxes) after all. However, in the effort to save those we love from pain through an outside source, or to chase adventure, our bravery tends to fall on the line of reckless, going with our gut feelings, and not thinking things through. That often has consequences to yourself or others in the real world.

Often as a Gryffindor, standing up for myself or others is are not loud declarations. I like to go on adventures or deviate from a plan, but it sometimes takes me a while to warm up to the idea. Proceeding with caution and planning ahead to figure things out eventually, but slowly, takes a backseat to accepting that all hell is going to break loose anyways.

My biggest form of "bravery" is probably being in proud of my personality and my empathy. I like what I like, hate what I hate, and stand to reason to back up whatever I enjoy. I've always stood out from the pack from my peers in terms of my interests or hobbies, and have veered away from locking out my passions to appease society's standards. Empathy in not so many ways is more of an internal call of action, rather again like most Gryffindor's one that is proudly displayed. I try not to cast judgement on others and remind myself that to walk in other people's shoes because I do not know their story. My way of defending others: signing petitions, signal boosting posts on tumblr, donating money or time to charitable causes. Either characteristics are hardly loud, outspoken, or to be remembered in the name of heroics.

What is right isn't always what is easy. Risk is involved; being bold. Do we go after the big thrilling escapades to get the thrill of Harry Potter character - like skydiving, race track driving? Do we go into a line of occupation that as unequivocally daring such as stuntman coordinator or firefighter? Or can being brave including the small stuff too - like lending a roar for those voices may not be loud enough to defend themselves or facing our everyday fears no matter what they may be? Does being considered brave always have to be a "theatrical" display?

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