I snooted up my nose at it.
My inner snob said, "Surely, anything that popular must be trash."
But finally, my son dragged me to the movie, and I fell in love with Harry Potter.
I've had a lot of time to think about the phenomenal success of stories like Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings trilogy - and why these stories resonate so with me.
It's not the magic.
It's not the wizards and elves, hobbits and Hogwarts.
It's not the dazzling special effects.
Those things are all wonderful. They add charm, magic and mystery. They're just ripping good fun!
But the real staying power of these stories lies in The Message. And it's the same Message that runs like a whisper throughout all great literature - and, for that matter, not so great literature.
The Message? Things are not as they seem. There's more to us - and our world - than meets the eye.
We are, indeed, magical!
Living, as we do, in the sunlight world of mundane reality, we forget who we are. We're afraid of our own shadows. Afraid to step out and spread our wings. We wrap ourselves in our fears and limitations and live, as Thoreau said, "lives of quiet desperation."
And that's why the Harry Potter stories and Tolkien's tales of hobbits and Middle Earth strike a chord with me. They remind me that I need not be afraid, that I have hidden powers and untapped reserves.
And, boy oh boy, do I need that message. Constantly and always!
There's Harry Potter, a poor abused orphan who's maintained his spunk in spite of it all. But Harry doesn't have a clue. He doesn't know who he is or what he's got. J. K. Rowling's novels are all about how Harry finds out who he is and what he can do.
Do you know who you are, what you've got and what you can do?
I sincerely doubt it!
Then there's Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo. Two hobbits, lovers of comfort, security and all things domestic. Or so they think. They don't know who they are or what they've got either, do they? Tolkien leads us on a very long and convoluted tale to show how they find out.
Or at least, they start to find out. Because, you know, there's always more to learn.
There are thousands, if not millions, of self-help, motivational, and inspirational products out there. Books, tapes, seminars and workshops.
But nothing, absolutely nothing, has the power to move, inspire, encourage and uplift like a well-crafted story, poem, or song.
I'm not suggesting that you become a Harry Potter or a Tolkien fan. But I am suggesting that you use art to remind you of how very magical you are - how very strange and incredible the world around you is.
I want you to remember how deep your reserves are.
There's more. There's always so much more!
About the Author
Joan Linwood is a home based entrepreneur and publisher of The Happy Home Business, a free ezine dedicated to helping you make your home business lifestyle truly joyful and profitable. You can subscribe at http://www.home-business-utopia.com/subscribe