Tuesday, July 12, 2005

3 Days and Hours

First off, I have to give props to Kris. She made my day today by giving me her winnings! Yes, Kris one a "be one of the first five people in line to get your Harry Potter books this Friday at midnight!" Can you believe it? And she is giving up this opportunity to me. So cool. Kris, you are too awesome!!!!!!

Here's today's thoughts:

Harry and Courage
Taken from Harry Potter and Philosophy: The Courageous Harry Potter (9-21)

Tom Morris says the following in explaining why Harry Potter is able to face the many dangerous times he finds himself in throughout the HP novels.

“Courage is doing what’s right, not what’s easy. It’s doing what seems morally required, rather than what seems physically safe or socially expected. It’s doing what’s best, overall, rather than necessarily what’s best for you. A courageous person properly perceives when there is danger and then overcomes the natural urge for self-preservation, self-protection, comfort, personal gain, or even the solicitude for guarding the feelings of others that might counsel avoidance of that threat.
The great philosopher Aristotle teaches us that courage is a midpoint between two extremes in our reaction to danger: the extreme of too little, which he characterizes as cowardice, and the extreme of too much, which he labels as rashness. A courageous action is not the deed of a person insensible to danger, unaware of its presence, or reckless in the face of it. It is motivated and measured response to perceived danger by a person who is willing to face that potential harm for the sake of securing or promoting a greater good. It’s generated by a person’s values, and the depth and intensity with which they are held, and it’s to be displayed in a way that is proportionate to the needs of the situation.”

Morris continues in his essay to outline Harry’s recipe for courage page 14:
1. Prepare for the challenge
2. Surround yourself with support
3. Engage in positive self-talk
4. Focus on what’s at stake
5. Take appropriate action

Throughout the novels, as Harry grows up, you see him struggle with his identity. By book five he gets angry more often and finds himself in sulky moods. Despite these trends of all adolescents, Harry remains one of the most courageous people. Whether he is saving the stone, saving Ginny, saving Sirius, saving Cedric’s body, or saving Sirius again, it’s not about Harry. He enters those situations not with regard to himself but only thinking of that other person. That he might not survive seems to matter very little. Once again there is always something to be learned from one of literature’s favorite characters.