Catching Fire: Victors, districts and “the other”

In Catching Fire the victors of previous games form a unique sort of club. It is a bond formed between those who have been through a unique experience – one that can only be understood by those who have also been there. It is only when they are with other victors that survivors of the arena know for sure they are understood.

Being a victor in the arena, it seems, is greater than the difference between the districts.

Still driven by the sense of difference between the districts – enforced by the Capitol in a top-down, divide-and-conquer  means of rule – this realization dawns slowly on Katniss. Thrown back into the arena by the cruel cards of the Quarter Quell, Katniss and Peeta have to gear up to kill again.

But after training with the other victors, Katniss finds she just doesn’t have it in her.

… the more I come to know these people, the worse it is. Because, on the whole, I don’t hate them. And some I like. And a lot of them are so damaged that my natural instinct would be to protect them. But all of them must die if I’m to save Peeta.

~Katniss Everdeen, Catching Fire.

The “others”, the people who aren’t Peeta, have become… people to her. They have become individuals with hopes, dreams, fears, pasts and futures. And she finds herself unable to see them as anything less.

It is how we are called to see others, too.

A four-fold Benedictine blessing

by Sr. Ruth Fox, OSB (1985)*

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide,
be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.

AMEN

* From http://allsaintsbrookline.org/prayers/prayer4.html

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