Travel Transformational - Choices

Continuing the new Travel Transformation series, today's quote comes from the Harry Potter series. As a reminder, we take a quote and explore the context, how the quote relates to the world around us, how it relates to our lives, and what action it compels us to take. 

Today's quote comes from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. - Dumbledore

Like Gandalf in our last Travel Transformational, Dumbledore is one of the most revered characters in the Harry Potter series. In this particular moment of the series, Dumbledore is reassuring Harry of the many important differences between Voldemort and Harry instead of allowing Harry to focus on the similarities. Harry discovered he speaks Parseltongue, or snake language, and Voldemort does too. Worried that he might be the heir to Slytherin, Harry sees Dumbledore to get a better understanding of Tom Riddle, before he became Lord Voldemort. 

Dumbledore, in one of many moments of wisdom, shares with Harry the importance of our choices defining who we are and not our circumstance or natural talents. This is so important to remember in today's world. Just because Harry can speak Parseltongue, doesn't mean he is inherently evil, like Voldemort. Can you think of other examples? What comes to my mind are situations where we instantly judge another person based on their circumstance: race, gender, etc. These are not characteristics someone chose, but what choices did they make to get to where they are? Look at someone's choices to learn who they are instead of gifts and abilities. 

As it relates to our lives, every day, we make choices. As we grow up, our parents often make choices for us and we frequently fall into the same belief system and thought pattern as our parents. This is not wrong by any means, however, it's important we encourage our children, the future of our world, to grow and become their own people. This quote, "It's our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." makes me think of parents who want to have kids grow up to be professional athletes, musicians, doctors, or some other career that makes the parents happy, but maybe not the child. Maybe your child shows a natural talent for something that could turn into a career. It's a fine line to walk to encourage your kid to follow her dreams while also allowing her to be a kid and pursue all her other dreams as well. 

If nothing else, I want this to make you think about the choices you've made along the way and are those choices reflective of who you are and who you want to be? Or are they reflective of another, stronger personality in your life. If our choices show what we truly are, more than our abilities, are you happy with who you are? Remember - it's never too late to change your choices and who you are to make you happy and to follow your own path.