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15 ‘Harry Potter’ Quotes to Inspire You to Make a Better World

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Some stories will stick with us no matter how old we grow.

JK Rowling’s beloved “Harry Potter” is one of those stories. With over 400 million copies sold worldwide, “Harry Potter” beats out stories like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Diary of Anne Frank,” in terms of its global reach.

Take Action: Give Children Access to the Quality Education They Deserve

The fantastical story not only tells a happy tale, but also imparts with the reader bits of wisdom and advice to inspire people to do good. Of course, those bits of wisdom stem from its author , J.K. Rowling.

Today, on Harry Potter’s 37th "birthday" (and J.K. Rowling’s 52nd), Global Citizen is sharing some of our favorite quotes from the witty author and her novels that show why she is one of the most inspiring writers in the world:


1. “Are you the sort of person who gloats when they see a woman fall, or the kind that celebrates a magnificent recovery?” — J.K. Rowling, on Twitter

Here, Rowling came to Madonna’s defense and silenced haters on Twitter who were making fun of the Queen of Pop after she took a tumble at the Brit Awards in 2015.

2. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” — “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

Not known for being one to respect authority, this bit of wisdom came from Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, while trying to break up an argument between Ron and Hermione about house elves.


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3. “Years ago someone wrote [about me]: ‘She characterizes Molly Weasley as a mother who is only at home looking after the children.’ I was deeply offended, because I until a year before that had also been such a mother who was at home all the time taking care of her child […] What has lesser status and is more difficult than raising a child? And what is more important?” — J.K. Rowling

During an interview in 2007  Rowling talked about the importance of motherhood and other parts of her life.

4. “But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This iconic line was delivered by Headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the third book in the series.


5. “I believe in free will. Of those that, like us, are in a privileged situation at least. For you, for me: people who are living in western society, people who are not repressed, who are free. We can choose. The things go largely like you want them to go. You control your own life. Your own will is extremely powerful.” — J.K. Rowling

This is just one of many quotes the author has made over the years about facing adversity, fate and destiny.

6. “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” — “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This is another famous quote by Albus Dumbledore that he imparts on the students at Hogwarts.

7. “I cannot criticize my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.” — J.K. Rowling

Rowling, in her 2008 Harvard Commencement Address, titled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.”


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8. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” — “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

Sirius Black gave this advice during a time when Harry struggled with his desire to do the right thing and get revenge for his parents’ murder.

9. “The truth is that you don’t think a girl would have been clever enough!”  — “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

Hermione Granger delivered this zinger while arguing with Ron and Harry about the identity of the half-blood Prince.


10. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation upon which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling

Rowling, in her 2008 Harvard Commencement Address, titled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.”

11. "We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided." — “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

Albus Dumbledore gave this advice/warning to the students of Hogwarts in the fifth book in the series.

12. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default." — J.K. Rowling

Rowling in her 2008 Harvard Commencement Address, titled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.”


13. “Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more, believing in yourself.” — “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter said this to the group of students secretly training to fight Voldemort.

14. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” — “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Albus Dumbledore gives this advice to Harry in the very first book of the series.

15. “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” — J.K. Rowling

Rowling, in her 2008 Harvard Commencement Address, titled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.”