top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichael Apollo Lira

Humility in Victory



Harry Potter Mania.

I remember it sweeping the nation in the early 2000s. A story that swept up children and adults alike through its well written charm. There were long lines of people waiting for the books on their release days, not unlike what people do today for coveted electronics. Cookbooks naturally followed, with recipes named after either famous characters or certain foods highlighted in the books. And I also remember seeing the news talking about wand making classes for children.

I never read the books, though I hear they're good.

And I never watched the movies. Until just recently, that is. As in like a week or two ago.

I've discovered that people find statements like that at times offensive, for which I can only react accordingly


I can't say that I share the same zeal that many fans have for the movies, though I did find them enjoyable. I loved the characters, personalities, and chemistry between the characters. There was certainly a lot to appreciate, but maybe waiting until I'm nearly 40 wasn't the best move as far as getting into Harry Potter goes. Maybe what's really missing in this picture is me reading the books to give the full depth of the story a fair shot.

But what I can say, is there was one part in the movies that really, really stuck with me. And that was the story and lesson behind The Tale of the Three Brothers.




There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too treacherous to pass. But being learned in the magical arts, the three brothers simply waved their wands and made a bridge. Before they could cross, however, they found their path blocked by a hooded figure. It was Death. And he felt cheated. Cheated, because travelers would normally drown in the river.


But Death was cunning.


He pretended to congratulate the three brothers on their magic and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him. The oldest asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence, so Death fashioned him one from an Elder Tree that stood nearby. The second brother decided he wanted to humiliate Death even further, and asked for the power to recall loved ones from the grave. So Death plucked a stone from the river, and offered it to him. Finally, Death turned to the third brothers. A humble man, he asked for something that would allow him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And so it was that Death reluctantly handed over his own cloak of invisibility.


The first brother traveled to a distant village where, with the Elder Wand in hand, he killed a wizard with whom he had once quarreled. Drunk with the power that the Elder Wand had given him, he bragged of his invincibility. But that night, another wizard stole the wand and slit the brother's throat for good measure. And so Death took the first brother for his own.


The second brother journeyed to his home, where he took the stone and turned it thrice in hand. To his delight, the girl he'd once hoped to marry before her untimely death appeared before him. Yet soon, she turned sad and cold, for she did not belong in the mortal world. Driven mad with hopeless longing, the second brother killed himself so as to join her. And so Death took the second brother.


As for the third brother, Death searched many years, but was never able to find him. Only when he attained a great age did the youngest brother shed the cloak of invisibility and give it to his son. He then greeted Death as an old friend and went with him gladly, departing this life as equals.



I suppose there are a few lessons that could be gained from that story. But to me, more than anything, it spoke of humility in victory. Our victories and successes are the result of some variation and combination of skill and luck (among other things, many may argue). When we let pride or boastfulness blind ourselves from recognizing just how readily and easily things could have gone the other way, we lose track of just how much there really is to be thankful for in our victories. A victory absolutely deserves celebration and joy. But it is so important not to confuse that with the aforementioned, poisoned feelings that often sew bad blood and burn the bridges we still may be crossing or later return to. Because even -no, especially, in adversity we may find opportunity for friendships, respect, and newfound alliances through the humility we carry.


Take joy in and celebrate your victories. But also remember to be humble and thankful. A wise man once said "There's always a bigger fish". And as I myself always like to say, life has a funny way of happening. That bigger fish could be just around the corner.


Recent Posts

See All

11 Comments


info
Jan 11, 2022

I was so into Harry Potter for a while. Including fan-fiction, the whole shebang. I wasn't a kid. I was one of those parents that made my kids read the books before they were allowed to watch the movies.

Anyway, you are of course absolutely right about humility. Boastfulness is... not good. We should always be thankful.

~Sumara.

Like
Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Jan 11, 2022
Replying to

Dangit....I think I'm going to read them now. It's everywhere! And NOBODY has anything bad to say! Thank you Sumatra!!

Like

craig
Jan 10, 2022

So it seems that I am not the only one who has not seen a Harry Potter movie all the way through. I may resist the temptation a little longer.

Thanks for writing such a great blog Michael. And yes, humility is a very valuable trait. I know that because I am awesome! LOL

Like
Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Jan 11, 2022
Replying to

You ARE awesome, Craig!! And while the movies have a charm to them, I'm thinking the books are probably where it's at.

Like

Gary Mason
Gary Mason
Jan 10, 2022

Great post, which BTW fits nicely with my topic for this week: Never Gloat. It IS important to savor and celebrate victories, but not in a way that makes you a braggart or causes other to take joy when you fail. Humility, as you mention, is the key! Stay humble!

Like
Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Jan 11, 2022
Replying to

Gary! Great minds think alike (speaking of being humble, haha). I totally agree. Gloating ruins a victory. You take care good sir.

Like

thevoice
thevoice
Jan 10, 2022

Given the cultural references to the Harry Potter books and movies along with the needed encouragement to not lose humility in our victories, I have one thought. You make soap? I love home made soap, but seldom can find a nice, masculine scent. I wonder if I should make my own. Suggestions on getting started?😉

Like
thevoice
thevoice
Jan 11, 2022
Replying to

Yes, please!

Like

Tyler Robbert
Tyler Robbert
Jan 10, 2022

Love it, Michael! Humility isn't a flower that seems to grow in many gardens these days. It's one of those virtues that can really make someone stand out, but it's so obvious when it's fake. By all means, celebrate victories, but allowing others to celebrate you more than you celebrate yourself is just better all around in my humble opinion.


Oh, and I was one of those crazies standing in midnight lines for book and movie releases... No doubt you've heard this countless times before, but, yes, the books are way better than the films and are well worth a read through at least once in your life!

Like
Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Jan 11, 2022
Replying to

Tyler, I might just bite the bullet and buy myself the books. I cannot judge a person for waiting in line for things they're excited or passionate about - I've definitely done my fair share of that (see : https://www.michaelapollolira.com/post/the-people-you-know ). Thank you for your comment and sharing your own respectable and humble opinion, good sir!

Like
bottom of page