4 Lessons I learned from the Hunger Games Trilogy

hgI know the Hunger Games books came out a while ago.  However, if you are like me and my family, you do not just read a good book or see a good movie only once.  In fact, you read the book or watch the movie several times.  You revisit your favorites quite often and each time you do, you find another nugget of wisdom or you notice something you did not notice the first couple times through.  It is a good idea to keep in mind that most stories have a deeper meaning or some unstated message just waiting to be discovered.  Of course, every reader or moviegoer can simply read or watch just for the entertainment of the story and then move on and forget about it all together.

I do not really thing that does the stories justice.  Every storyteller is trying to communicate a message to its audience.  The interesting thing is that the message can be different for person enjoying the story.  So, here is the four things that stuck out to me.

1. Everyone is watching:  In the story, when the tributes are in the arena, there are cameras everywhere and all the people in the districts watch the games on big screens throughout all the districts.  They are watching and waiting.  Waiting to see who will prevail.  Later in the story, after Katniss and Peeta both survive the game, President Snow informs Katniss that he will be watching them to make sure they are really in love.  Katniss then realizes that there are cameras everywhere: in the forest, in town, and in her own home.

You might think that no one is watching you.  Maybe you think you do not have an       influence on anyone.  That is not true.  No matter who you are, someone is always keeping an eye on what you do and what you say.  You have an influence either good or bad, positive or negative.  If you are a Christian, keep in mind that the world is always watching, waiting to see if you live what you say.  Do your words line up with your actions?

2.  Respect goes a long way:  At the beginning of the story, when Prim’s name is picked out of the bowl and Katniss, without hesitation volunteers her own life instead of her sister’s, the people of District 12 give the sign for respect.  Also, in one of the most touching parts of the story is when Rue dies.  Katniss is devastated.  She takes the time to put flowers on Rue’s body and sing a beautiful song.  Of course all the Districts watch this on the screens.  When she is done, she turns to the camera a makes the sign for respect.  That one thing, respect, starts the unity within some of the Districts.  When Peeta and Katniss go on their Victor’s Tour, the people in Rue’s District give Katniss the same sign for respect:  and it all starts.

Respect.  Such a small word packs a strong punch.  Being respectful does not mean you are weak.  It also does not mean that you have to agree with everything that someone does or says.  If you want to be respected, show respect.

3.  Hope is powerful:  In the book, President Snow is having a conversation with Seneca Crane.  President Snow tells Seneca that “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.”  Such a true statement.

Have you ever been upset or depressed about something and someone comes along and gives you some hope?  Hope is an anchor for your soul.  It is stronger that fear and it does not take much to make a difference.  Just a little bit of hope can change things.

4.  Laughter is the best medicine: In the book series, when they take Katniss’s family to District 13, she insists that they are able to bring her sister’s cat with them.  They permit it.  Of course, all the people underground in District 13 are tired and devastated.  Their homes and District have just been destroyed.  Prim’s cat gets restless and wants to play.  When everyone in the underground bunkers start watching the cat play, something changes.  They start laughing and it lightens the mood.

Proverbs 17:22 says:  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  When you have a cheerful heart and a cheerful outlook on life, it will be evident. Don’t be so serious.  Most of the world is serious enough for everyone.  There is scientific evidence that laughing is good for you.  When you laugh, it actually causes a response in your body.  Studies have shown that when your body responds to laughter and your lightened mood, it has healing properties.

There are some great messages in this story.  It really makes me think about my life and the kind of person I want to be.  Since, people are watching my actions, I want to show respect, give hope, and bring joy and laughter to situations.

Is there a book, movie, or situation that made you think?  Did it give you some life lessons?  Tell us about your story.  We want to know.  Share it here.