Wisdom and advice from one of the greatest wizards of all time.
While many know the story of Harry Potter, fewer are as familiar with the wizarding world’s previous savior. That savior we now know as the ever-wise Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin, first class, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.
Long before Tom Riddle adopted the name and destiny of Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore had to face his own dark wizard–Gellert Grindelwald. Old friends, Dumbledore had been fascinated with Grindelwald’s ambition for power and domination, and had even sought the Deathly Hallows for himself. The fascination ended quickly after the accidental murder of his sister, when Grindelwald absconded and Dumbledore became Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts.
In 1945, Dumbledore faced off against his old friend Grindelwald–who had now obtained the Elder Wand and amassed an army–in a historic duel. Like Harry would years later, Dumbledore quashed the rise of dark magic and restored (temporary) balance to the wizarding world.
Though that victory stands out as the most outstanding, Dumbledore had a long list of accomplishments over his 115-year life. Having been “nothing more or less than the most brilliant student ever seen at the school”, the Gryffindor served as both Prefect and Head Boy at Hogwarts. During the First Wizarding War, Dumbledore founded the Order of the Phoenix which was later indispensable in defeating Voldemort by Harry’s side.
A wizard so great, so tempted by the power of evil, and so incredibly sassy is bound to have a wealth of knowledge to share. Here are a few favorite quotes we picked from his Pensieve.
“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right, and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort.”
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
“It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated.”
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
“Sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often. Best to say nothing at all, dear man.”
“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
ON THE MIND
“Curiosity is not a sin…. But we should exercise caution with our curiosity… yes, indeed.”
“As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
ON LIFE ADVICE
“It is my belief … that the truth is generally preferable to lies.”
“Let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
“It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
“The best of us must sometimes eat our words.”
“If you’re holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time.”
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
“It is a curious thing … but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”
“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
“Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.”
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living and above all, those who live without love.”
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Pearl does a variety of media-related tasks at Sporcle, including blog writing, video production, and social media maintenance. She does research on penguins, enjoys snail mucus in her skincare, and once turned herself Sporcle Orange from eating too many carrots.