The Hunger Games Perspective

I love flying.

Perhaps it is because I have never been one of those people unfortunate enough to run into serious problems like luggage sent to Timbuktu or the Flight Attendant From Hell.  But really I put it down to the fact that it allows me hours of time that I can read without any thought to dishes that must be done or errands that simply cannot wait.  I can simply sit and read without guilt or distraction.

So that is what I did yesterday on my flight to San Francisco.  After the Flight Attendants Not From Hell finished their demonstrations, I pulled out the Hunger Games and flipped to the first page.

I have never been one to read a book that has suddenly become a sensation.  I didn’t read the Harry Potter books until the 6th one was slated for publication and I refuse to read Twilight entirely (as well as 50 Shades of Grey but that’s because it started out as Twilight fanfiction).  So despite having even seen the movie, I had not yet read the Hunger Games.  It has certainly lived up to its hype and has provided me with a lot more insight than I had expected.

I am a thorough believer that any situation can provide a learning opportunity as long as you’re willing to keep your mind open to the possibility.  And yesterday that is what the Hunger Games provided me.

I was sitting somewhere above Texas when I read this line:

What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button?  How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by?  What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?

Now that is a concept that is foreign to the majority of people of the developed world.  Most of the people in the United States don’t have to spend much time at all thinking about food.  And they don’t have to spend any time at all thinking about the source of their water.

Well, unless you’re in the path of a hurricane.  But I consider that extenuating circumstances.

How much time and energy do the people in Kisumu have to spend making sure they have enough food and water?  How much could they accomplish if that energy could be put into something else, like education?

That is what I can imagine Katniss is thinking about in that quote.  The difference that access to food makes is certainly exemplified when you look at the contenders from the other Districts.  Where Katniss has been spending years hunting and gathering so her family had enough to eat, the contenders from Districts 1, 2 and 4 had enough food and instead spent their childhood training.  As a result,  the majority of the winners of the Hunger Games come from these Districts.

While I am not sure whether or not the author meant such a comparison, but I do consider it quite apt.  And it is all the more reason to work as hard as I can on this water and food security garden project.


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