Dumbledore from Harry Potter might not have been the wise, old mentor that he was made out to be for most of the series, but he still has a lot of bits of wisdom. While Dumbledore is a more complex and flawed character than Harry, and readers, realized, he does have many good qualities. He clearly has made some huge mistakes in his life, and this could contribute to why he has a good amount of wisdom once Harry meets him.
While Dumbledore might not be a perfect character, and many of his actions are highly problematic, he also has many words of wisdom to live by. Here are the 10 wisest quotes by Albus Dumbledore.
10 “IT DOES NOT DO TO DWELL ON DREAMS AND FORGET TO LIVE, REMEMBER THAT.”
Dumbledore tells Harry this useful piece of wisdom in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. When Harry finds the Mirror of Erised, he becomes obsessed with the image of his family next to him. But, of course, this isn’t a real thing. Dumbledore reminds him that living in a fantasy land or dwelling on dreams can impede real-life progress. This kind of obsessing can only lead a person to feel dissatisfied and unhappy.
9 “THE TRUTH. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE THING, AND SHOULD THEREFORE BE TREATED WITH GREAT CAUTION.”
This quote is definitely an interesting one coming from Dumbledore given his past. He tells this line to Harry in Sorcerer's Stone when Harry asks questions about why Voldemort went after him.
While not telling an eleven-year-old everything might make sense, Dumbledore also has issues with telling the truth and manipulating people, mainly Harry. But, at face value, this quote does have a lot of wisdom to it.
8 “IT MATTERS NOT WHAT SOMEONE IS BORN, BUT WHAT THEY GROW TO BE!”
If there’s one theme that the Harry Potter books have, it’s that choices are more important than where you’re born. While, on the one hand, one’s circumstances can impact their opportunities, the point is that being a good person is much about choices and not about if you’re born rich or poor or to the perfect home.
This is an inspiring quote that says that people can be good-hearted and admirable no matter where they are born.
7 “UNDERSTANDING IS THE FIRST STEP TO ACCEPTANCE, AND ONLY WITH ACCEPTANCE CAN THERE BE RECOVERY.”
Dumbledore says this line in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after the unfortunate events that lead to Cedric’s death and the return of Voldermort. This quote can also easily be applied to many things in life. Being able to understand and accept bad things that happen is definitely a key thing to being able to heal and move forward. Dumbledore knows this and is adamant in telling the truth about what happened to Cedric.
6 “TO THE WELL-ORGANIZED MIND, DEATH IS BUT THE NEXT GREAT ADVENTURE.”
One of the best things about Dumbledore in the series is his attitude about death. Death is a topic that is scary for many to think about, and it’s not something addressed much in a positive way in our society. Dumbledore looks at death as an adventure and not as something to fear. This attitude is definitely a refreshing one, and it goes some hope to Harry who has already lost so many people in his life to death.
5 “YOU THINK THE DEAD WE LOVED EVER TRULY LEAVE US? YOU THINK WE DON’T RECALL THEM MORE THAN EVER IN TIMES OF GREAT TROUBLE?”
Harry Potter definitely had a rough upbringing, and being an orphan, he never got to know a loving family, especially not with the Dursleys. This wise quote inspires Harry, and anyone who has lost a loved one, by reminding them that they live on in you and never really leave.
This is just one example of how the Harry Potter series handles heavy topics. Dumbledore’s quotes about death are definitely some of his best and most inspiring.
4 “DIFFERENCES OF HABIT AND LANGUAGE ARE NOTHING AT ALL IF OUR AIMS ARE IDENTICAL AND OUR HEARTS ARE OPEN.”
While things in the real world might not always be this simple, this is a beautiful thing to strive for. The idea of coming together and accepting differences is a great goal to have.
Dumbledore says this line at the end of Goblet of Fire after the return of Voldemort and death of Cedric. He calls for unity and for the wizarding community to stand together and fight against Voldemort and darkness.
3 “IT TAKES A GREAT DEAL OF BRAVERY TO STAND UP TO OUR ENEMIES, BUT JUST AS MUCH TO STAND UP TO OUR FRIENDS.”
This might be one of the wisest of all of Dumbledore’s quotes. It’s very true that standing up to people you don't like can be hard, but standing up to people you even care about is harder. When you love someone, you don’t want to hurt their feelings or make it seem like you're against them, so calling them out when they do something wrong and standing up to them takes a certain type of bravery. Neville shows this bravery, and it's great that Dumbledore gives him credit for it.
2 “IT IS OUR CHOICES, HARRY. THAT SHOW WHAT WE TRULY ARE, FAR MORE THAN OUR ABILITIES.”
This is one of Dumbledore’s most well-known quotes, and there’s really no surprise as to why. This is another line that is about how choices matter more than who or where you were born. The biggest example of this in the series is Voldemort and Harry as they have similar childhoods but choose very different paths.
1 “IT IS THE UNKNOWN WE FEAR WHEN WE LOOK UPON DEATH AND DARKNESS, NOTHING MORE.”
This is another one of Dumbledore’s great quotes about fear and death. He is definitely on the nose here with explaining how the unknown is what scares many of use the most. Feeling out of control of a situation can be anxiety producing. Dumbledore acknowledges this fact here and takes a wise perspective. While the unknown is scary, it isn’t always a negative thing.