For those of you readers who might not know, “Gryffindor” is one of four Houses (living and learning communities) within Hogwarts – the magical school of the Harry Potter series. Students of Hogwarts are placed into one of the Houses based on the qualities they value most: Primarily, Hufflepuff values loyalty; Ravenclaw values learning/intelligence; Slytherin values ambition; and Gryffindor values courage. There are more intricacies to the Houses than that and other traits that can be used to describe them – but I believe these traits sum them up best.
While the Hogwarts Houses are obviously fictional, I find it incredibly interesting to learn about which House people say they would fit into. I do not believe that any one House or one trait is at all better than the others, or the “right choice” – rather, I believe the traits of each House can be represented selflessly OR selfishly. Every person has a different perspective on the Houses and what they mean – which is why I sincerely enjoy discussing the Houses and hearing which Houses my friends fit into and why.
So, in this post, I am going to explain not why I think Gryffindor is the best House (I don’t think that), but why I personally am a Gryffindor – and then I’m going to ask some questions to you about your House choice. I would love to hear your perspectives!
I Am Not Naturally Brave
It’s true – courage is definitely not something I was born with, which has made me value it all the more. When I was younger, I was scared of everything that was new to me – from little things like riding a bike and roller-coasters, to bigger things like moving to a new country or speaking in front of a room full of people. However, every time I actually did the thing I was scared of, I realized that it wasn’t actually scary at all – and in the process of realizing that, I came to not only be unafraid of that thing, but actually to love and enjoy it. I now am a huge fan of riding a bike, roller-coasters, traveling to new places, and even public speaking (really, it’s fun!).
I guess the point of mentioning this is to point out that I am in no way a Gryffindor because I am naturally a brave person. Perhaps I’ve learned to become more brave – now I do love new experiences and the unknown – but that’s something that has come through learning and experience. At this point in my life, after facing so many challenges and experiencing so many scary things, I’ve come to love and value the action of facing my fears – because it always leads to something new, exciting, and beautiful. So, really, I am a Gryffindor because I am NOT a naturally brave person, not the other way around. Courage is the most challenging of the four traits for me personally, and thus it leads to the most growth – and for this reason, I value it most.
I’m Not A Typical Gryffindor
Also true. Based on my personality, I don’t think most people would peg me as a Gryffindor. I am not particularly showy or daring – and I have no desire for pointless heroics. True, I sometimes post obnoxious pro-Gryffindor comments on Facebook and sing annoying pro-Gryffindor songs after winning muggle-Quidditch games – but I promise, I only do that because I know the “Gryffindor rules” attitude is a stereotype of Gryffindors, and so I’m trying to be funny (I apologize).
I’ve had many friends say that based on my personality, they think I would be a Hufflepuff. I’ve had colleagues say that based on my career as a librarian, they think I would be a Ravenclaw. However, I do not believe that Hogwarts Houses are *ultimately* decided based off of personality, talents, or interests – rather, the final result takes into account what a person values most in him or herself. This, I believe, is the reason why within the Harry Potter series, Harry, Hermoine, and Ron were all sorted into Gryffindor – even though they each display many primary traits of the other Houses and aren’t what I’d think of as “typical” Gryffindors. Ultimately, they valued courage most, regardless of which other traits came naturally to them.
All of this being said, it is also true that my friends and family are more important to me than anything else (apart from God). So then…
Why Am I A Gryffindor and Not a Hufflepuff?
Being a Gryffindor means that I value courage in myself more than I value loyalty in myself. But, being a Gryffindor does not mean that I don’t love my friends most. In the Harry Potter series, Harry (a Gryffindor) chooses to sacrifice himself *because* he loves his friends most. Any of the four Houses have the potential to value other people first and love others sacrificially. Loyalty, learning, courage, and even ambition can be selfless. Some would argue that ambition can’t be – but I think that while ambition is perhaps the most difficult to make selfless (hence, lots of corrupt Slytherins), it is possible to have a selfless ambition that is purposed towards God and others.
Also, I love my friends, but of course that sometimes means standing up to them. I believe it is my responsibility as their friend to stand up to them when I believe they are hurting themselves and/or others or confident that they are making a wrong decision. This is very difficult for me and takes a lot of courage to do – and, it’s another reason why I am a Gryffindor and not a Hufflepuff. My friends are incredibly important to me – I just value the courage to stand up to them when necessary (which is hard for me) more than I value the ability to loyally support them (which is easy for me). I often fail at this – but it is important to me, and I am learning. Again, this goes back to the fact that I am not naturally courageous, even though I highly value courage. If I were naturally brave enough to always love when it’s hard and stand up to my friends when I should, I doubt I would be a Gryffindor.
What About You?
Again, I know that my reasons for personally being a Gryffindor do not make it in any way the “best” House. So, my questions for you are:
1. Which House did you choose and why?
2. Is there another House that you could almost be placed in? If so, which one and why?
I look forward to your comments!