The Choice Factor

That brisk strut with billowing robes behind. That almost sneering smirk under his hooked nose. That voice lashes out at people in the most subtle way possible. That is Severus Tobias Snape, Potion Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizarding, the dour ’bat’ of the dungeons. But my hero-worship for this misunderstood man has made me reflect on one of the important lessons for life-The Choice Factor.

Although Snape’s passion for the Dark Arts and the Dark Mark on his arm, along with his air of intimidation and sharp tongue attributes to his ‘villain’ aura, the choices that he made speak differently about his true character. The choices that he made say it all. It is not so surprising how similarly Snape and Voldemort are portrayed throughout the series. Both men had strikingly similar parentage; with muggle fathers and pureblood mothers and a miserable childhood. They also shared a common passion for the Dark Arts and even went on to pursue the same goals as adults, with Snape joining Voldemort’s Death Eaters in their ironic quest to establish a pureblood society.

Snape’s core differs immensely from his exterior. Real character is ultimately determined by one’s core traits, not by surface actions or attitudes. When Snape realized that the woman he loved was in danger, his alliance shifted for good and he became a spy for the Light. This was where he strayed from the path that Voldemort had taken and he had been tentatively travelling on; He chose Love over Power, Light over Dark, and Good over Evil. He thereon became one of the most critical parts of Dumbledore’s master plan to bring down Voldemort. His love for Lily Evans enabled him to see clearly through the dangerous path he was treading on, which gave the entire anti-Voldemort movement an edge over their enemies, even at the cost of his own life.

Thus we can say that Snape’s choices throughout his life redeem his character at the end of the series. The converse can also be true, as it takes a strong character and spirit to take such important decisions in life.

Choices define who we are as a person; it shows our character to the world. To enhance the probability of making better choices and surviving bad ones, personal character and inner spirit play important roles. Essentially, there is a thin line dividing any two paths or choices in life. We need to turn the thin line into a sturdy barrier. We need our consciousness and discriminating sense create these barriers to keep us centered on making better choices. Now, no one is perfect; we all make mistakes or bad choices. But how we handle the adversity, again lies in one’s willpower and character.

Choices define who we are as a person; it shows our character to the world.

Next time when you make a choice try asking these questions to yourselves:

1. What type of person do I want to be?

2. How can I be a better person by making a particular choice?

Below is a quote from a poem that has influenced me a lot. I leave you to ponder upon its meaning, at your own choice, Of course!

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I- I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”

The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost