What we can learn from the Hufflepuffs in our lives
June 17, 2020
Who doesn’t love Hufflepuffs? Nobody, right? We all love Hufflepuffs. As we should. Because now that we – The Harry Potter Generation – are all grown up, we’ve realized that Hufflepuff is not just the house for “all the rest” but the house that has the kindest most wonderful humans ever.
After exploring what we can learn from Slytherins, it’s time to dive into Part II of this little exercise and find out what you, me, everyone can learn from the Hufflepuffs.
Cause there is a lot that Hufflepuff has to offer.
Most of the Hufflepuffs stayed to fight during the Battle of Hogwarts. This, they didn’t do out of courage. They did it out of loyalty. And even though the result was the same, it’s an important difference. Because while the office-Gryffindor may be the one to run back into a burning building after the fire alarm went of, because Tony in the wheelchair is still inside, the office-Hufflepuff is the one who probably never left Tony behind in the first place.
Because a Hufflepuff’s first thought is always about others. They won’t ever overlook anybody, they won’t ever “not notice” that somebody was excluded from a conversation. They stick together, they stick around for the fight, loyal to the very end, which is an amazing, beautiful quality.
#2. Hard workers
This one may sound like an open door, because ‘hard work’ is already so glorified in our capitalist society. All our lives we’ve been told to be busy worker bees, participate in the rat-race, keep the wobbly unicycle that is our economy from toppling over at all cost.
So we already think of ourselves as hard workers, no matter what house we’re in.
The Hufflepuff version of hard work is a little different though. Hufflepuffs are often in a line of work that is extremely important, but often overlooked. Nurses, teachers, in other words: professions that deal with people, are a very Hufflepuff profession. Those are not the easy ones though. It’s hard work. People are difficult and complex, and caring for them is never an easy job. And it is often a thankless job.
Which is why Hufflepuffs are often overlooked, or at least the work they’re doing is. It’s overlooked and undervalued.
And it shouldn’t be. Not that Hufflepuffs are in it for the medals and the awards (which should totally be a thing, as big a thing as the Oscars, because nurses and teachers are amazing). They’re in it because they care. To paraphrase a certain Hogwarts Headmaster: they do it, not because it’s easy, but because it’s right.
You know that phrase in the sorting-hat song that goes something like ‘Slytherin said we should teach only those with the purest blood, Gryffindor took only those with brave deeds to their name, Ravenclaw opted for the smart ones, and Hufflepuff took the lot.’
That last part, the one where Helga Hufflepuff “took the lot” is usually interpreted as Hufflepuffs not having any defining character traits. I know I certainly read it like that when I first went to Hogwarts as a 12-year old.
But this line actually shows us a super admirable character trait of Helga Hufflepuff herself:
Our girl Helga will educate anyone. Not just the brave, smart or ambitious ones.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure if it’s admirable. Maybe it’s just… normal, and the other three are kinda jerks. You’re only going to teach the ones with brave deeds to their name, really? How many 11-year olds do you know that have already slayed a dragon, Goderick? It sounds to me like you’ll be sitting in an empty classroom is what you’ll be doing.
All kids should have acces to education, and it seems like Helga Hufflepuff is the only one who already understood that a thousand years ago.
Let’s expand a bit on the previous one.
I think it’s fair to say that the actions and worldview of the each of the four founders of Hogwarts has been a huge factor in forming the worldview of the students who were sorted into their house. To clarify, I’m not saying all Slytherins are evil (don’t come at me). I’m saying that the bigotry of Salazar Slytherin became an institutional problem within Slytherin house. Similarly, we can extrapolate Helga’s openness about education to an accepting attitude towards everyone. An attitude that was baked into the Hufflepuff culture and is still there a thousand years later.
The beautiful meaning of “taking the lot” is that there’s no test you have to pass. The sorting hat doesn’t have to determine if you are ambitious, smart or brave, you don’t have to be any of those things before the Hufflepuffs will welcome you into their common room. Hufflepuffs will be your friend, even if you’re not an extraordinary amazing protagonist, master-mind, genius person.
I don’t know about you, but we could all learn from that. To accept everybody, regardless of what particular strengths they have, is really what it’s all about.
#5. Lastly, we love them because they’re good finders
Yeah that’s right. I wasn’t gonna forget about this one. If you’re a Harry Potter fan and you don’t know where the phrase “Hufflepuffs are good finders” comes from, then I feel sorry for you. Also, kinda jealous. Because it means you still have this experience ahead of you. The experience of watching A Very Potter Musical for the first time.
So yeah. Go do that now. Wacht it and enjoy. Lucky bastard