The Gospel for Draco Malfoy
For those of you who haven't yet read the seventh Harry Potter book, some mild spoilers follow.
For those of you who haven't read any Harry Potter books, this will still make some sense. It revolves around Draco Malfoy, a bully and sometimes antagonist to Harry. Draco spends the seven books either bullying the weak with his posse of dim-witted heavies or kissing up to those he estimates are powerful.
In the the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the series, Draco, in spite of his worst intentions and best efforts to reclaim favor with Voldemort (the chief bad guy), is spared his life many times through the actions of others, often at great peril to themselves. He is often oblivious to this or, if he has some inkling of sacrifices that have been made for him, he is ungrateful.
In short, he is a sycophantic, self-centered, power-hungry brat who has an overdeveloped sense of his own entitlement. I shake my head at Draco and wonder if he has any idea what people have sacrificed for him, and yet he shows no gratitude, no remorse.
And, wondering this, I realize that I have more in common with Draco than I'd like to think. Oh, I wouldn't describe myself as a bully, but am I really aware of the sacrifices that have been made for me through the years, directly or indirectly? Am I grateful enough for the happy circumstances that surround my existence? Do I treat those around me according to the grace I have been given?
Some may be disturbed that Malfoy doesn't get more of a comeuppance at the end of Deathly Hallows, that he has received unmerited grace over and over again. And yet we live too in that grace. Over and over again we have received benefits which we do not deserve, forgiveness that we do not merit, sustenance for which we did not toil.
So I end the series with some chagrin, recognizing the Draco within, and vowing to be more grateful, more humble, and more joyful for the life I have.