And Why Nobody Wants To Be Them
I grew up great at many things, but not at any of the things that farming communities expected of little boys in the 80s. I was able to read and write by 4 (cursive at 5), pretty good with crayons and markers, and I could solve puzzles like a rat expecting coke.
Rural folk wanted their little boys to be good at athletics. That was about it. My talents would have been a great accent, but lacking athletic prowess meant that the stuff I was good at didn’t matter at all. When the football captain can sing, it’s awesome. When the chess captain can sing, it’s just a nerd singing.
I dealt with feelings of worthlessness at age five, despite being a gifted child, because my gifts weren’t important to the adults in my life. People who work blue collar jobs, spending their off time drinking and watching TV, tend to not be as into the arts and sciences as I was. They wanted their distractions; they wanted their sports.
I grew up dealing with a lot of self-loathing because my talents didn’t matter to the adults in my life. What I brought to the table wasn’t what gets rewarded.
Hogwarts Houses — The Reputations
When you hear people talk about what house they fantasize being sorted into, there are three that get over 90% of the attention. People tend to want to be in Gryffindor, Slytherin, or Ravenclaw. People who profess that they are a Hufflepuff generally accept the place, rather than yearn for it. It’s almost befitting.
This house values bravery, courage, and chivalry.
Let’s be honest: This was the house of jocks and cheerleaders.
This house values ambition, determination, and resourcefulness.
Let’s be honest: This was the house of snarky goths.
This house values creativity, intelligence, and wit.
Let’s be honest: This was the house of the artists and nerds.
This house values patience, loyalty, and industriousness.
Let’s be honest: These are the traits in humanity that people bitch the most about society lacking. That means it’s what we need the most. But, what makes the group that is made up of the least spectacular individuals the rarest?
We Want To Be Recognized As Great At What We Do
Whether it is catching a snitch or mopping floors, we want to be appreciated as doing it very well. Even the most humble people get the feels when they’re told “Thank you so much for doing such a fantastic job!”
Bravery and athletics get praised. Academic brilliance gets praised. Being cunning gets praised. These things also can get you ahead. Being loyal and hardworking gets you taken advantage of.
We Want To Be Valued
Appreciation goes a long way. Appreciation is often expressed in how we treat others. Americans appreciate athletes so much that they often look the other way when athletes commit violent crimes and still throw millions of dollars at them in the process. Likewise for artistic types (see rock and movie stars getting away with murder) and business moguls (don’t even get me started, here).
If hard work paid off, the world would be run by coal miners. Instead, it’s run by people who can’t light a grill.
Will We Get the Hufflepuffs We Need?
Not without significant change. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, either.
This is an era that rewards athletics for the sake of athletics, entertainment for the sake of entertainment, and deception for the sake of “good business”. Hard work and loyalty are not automatically rewarded. Those ideas might be occasionally appreciated, but will be taken advantage of before they are greatly rewarded. Yet, everyone wonders why it’s so hard to find those traits in people. Gee…I can’t imagine.
“You should work hard for the pride of a job well done.”
That shit doesn’t pay the bills, let’s start there. We can continue down the land of “Yes, you should do things from intrinsic motivation” across Reality River where you can meet me at “Do you really think it’s a good life to live if you have to keep telling yourself how great you and your life are doing? Do you really think that’s not going to wear you down over the years when your props all have to come from yourself? Do you not get how many hardworking people drink themselves to death living that life?”
So, What Can We Do?
In our little muggle world, we need to reward loyalty and industriousness the way we reward touchdowns and butt implants if we want to fix this.
If you meet a Hufflepuff in the real world, treat that person well. Treat them like the unicorn that they are. (Well, not how Voldemort would.) Make it good to be a Hufflepuff.
Many thanks, and Best Blessings,
P.S. I am a Slytherin who would have likely caused a hat stall with Ravenclaw as the other option.
Related Journal Prompts: What house would I want to be in and why? Should I want to be more Hufflepuff?