A Letter to JK Rowling
Posted on 25 October 2015
Last night was the final for my variety show Sandbox Land. The theme was Harry Potter and I decided to end the night with the below letter to JK Rowling.
Dear Joanne K Rowling…Jo,
I did not come to you as a child, but as a child at heart. Yet, even as an adult the Harry Potter books inspired me and I would like to thank you.
Thank you for renewing my sense of wonder. Thank you for a world so rich in imagination and joy that even though my mundane world does not include wands and dragons and golden snitches, I am uplifted and my awareness of other magic such as beauty, laughter, and friendship is magnified.
Thank you for creating a little boy who cares: he cares when Ron can’t afford treats such as magic chocolate frogs, he cares when Cedric Diggory shares tips on how to win the Wizarding Cup, he cares enough to save his cousin Dudley from death, and he cares when he realises his enemy Severus Snape has been his protector all along. You have created a whole world where people frequently care when it would be safer and more convenient if they did not.
Thank you for creating feisty and interesting girls like Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. These are capable girls who successfully navigate their lives through the use of intelligence and kindness, discovering these are not second-rate attributes only fit for a weaker sex, but sources of real and enduring power which make of the world a better place.
Thank you for making clear to young people what adults do not always have the courage to admit: no one at any age has all the answers. We are all deeply flawed and doing the best we know how. All we can do is maintain the best of intentions, learn from our mistakes, and find the courage to keep making mistakes as we do what we can to reduce suffering and promote what is most life-affirming. Harry Potter, Severus Snape, and Tom Marvolo grew up under similar circumstances and at times made dreadful mistakes. Those who discovered and rediscovered their essential connection with humanity in the end sought to redeem themselves. Having made similarly dreadful mistakes in his youth Albus Dumbledore understood this process. He understood that from a young age we all need to learn how to sensibly forgive ourselves and forgive others. For it is better to nurture goodness than to simply enforce order.
Finally, thank you Jo for cutting through both the cotton candy and the lemon sour bitterness of our age. Thank you for creating a world that grapples with real issues such as dysfunctional families, bureaucratic evil, suffering, and death. No amount of Disney magic protects either the ordinary or the good from these realities. Thank you also for not succumbing to cynicism. The world may be mottled with darkness, but it also holds great light flitting among the shadows. Sometimes its a light that does not recognise itself. And always it comes when each of us actively practises such skills as kindness, friendship, and most especially, love. These may not come in perfect packages, but they are indeed still very real things.
Thank you Jo. And thank you all her fans, for taking these messages to heart. The world needs now more than ever a Dumbledore’s Army, an army of young people whose hearts are filled with both courage and compassion, who are willing to take action protecting the weak and building on what is right and true and good. It is you who have helped to make the Harry Potter stories great!
In peace and friendship,