I’ve just returned from watching Hunger Games: Catching Fire and aside from the fact that it was a brilliant adaptation of the book, I feel like the girl on fire. Except the fire is not in a twirling skirt, but in my bones. I was awakened to a reality that I have been glimpsing for years but today–today it is more apparent than ever.
For those that haven’t read or seen the movie this will make little sense, but I must say it anyway.
We are the capitol.
I am the capitol.
We like to think we are Katniss, brave and fighting strong, but for most of us, it is not the reality.
We are the ones with outrageous outfits and outrageous amounts of food and a sickening self-absorption. We are the ones obsessed with entertaining ourselves at the cost of others. We revel in opulent surroundings and we ignore the ones hurting around us.
We pretend that there are not people who are hurt and oppressed and dying of hunger when we have so much. We are in the midst of the holiday that is about God coming to this earth and sacrificing his life and we have turned it into a free for all and excuse for more, more and more.
Yes, there is a movement for social justice, but we have so far to go.
We are the Capitol.
We love Katniss because she fights against the powers holding the districts down. She’s willing to give her life to protect the ones she loves. She hurts when the downtrodden are hurt. She self-sacrifices when it is for the betterment of someone else.
How many of us really and truly do that?
We think our enemy is corporations or the government, but our true enemy is not an institution. We are our own worst enemy.
Our greed. Our selfishness. Our gluttony. Our indifference. Our time and money prove our allegiance.
In the movie at an opulent engagement party, the game maker says to Katniss, “If you put your morals aside, you can enjoy yourself.”
That is what we have done in America. We’ve put our morals aside and have been enjoying our lives, ignoring a world that is hurting.
Put your drinks down. Take the masks off. We need saving from ourselves first.
Wake up, friends!
We must first fight to realize and overcome we are the capitol so we can do the true work like Katniss we love so much—saving others in spite of ourselves.
We do not celebrate Katniss by braiding our hair and buying makeup from CoverGirl. We celebrate the beauty that is The Hunger Games by laying down our pride and giving up our lives for the least of these. It is a shame if we take anything else away from this series.
I sit in my suburban house with all of my stuff without all the answers. I don’t have a 12 step program to getting this right. But I do know I’m going to try. I’m asking myself these questions.
What is one thing you can do to wake up from the materialistic culture we’re in?
Who is one person you can reach out to this season?
What is one gift you can buy from an ethical source to help someone else?
What can you say no to buying for yourself this week?
We must be asking these questions of ourselves because, friends, WE. ARE. THE. CAPITOL. and I know we don’t want to be.