Tuesday, March 22, 2011

catching fire by suzanne collins

the second installation of the hunger games series. i liked it, and i'm excited to read the final book.

a theme that really resonated with me in this book was leadership/responsibility. katniss finds her actions in the first book have inadvertently set her up as the poster child for an underground revolutionary movement. when her family is threatened her first instinct is to run. her only thought is for the safety of herself and those she loves. she does not want to use the influence she finds herself in possession of to lead those who would follow her.

i struggled with this when i was younger. i've always had a strong personality. people often describe me as confident, independent, a leader. i often found myself in leadership positions; in possession of unsought-after influence over my peers. i can't count the times my mother warned me to be careful of my behavior as others would follow suit. i resented it for a long time. teenage years are hard, and awkward, and living them under a microscope of responsibility makes it even more trying. every mistake is amplified and thrown in your face. every experiment is dissected. while you're bumbling around just trying to figure out who you are others are expecting composure, clarity, solidarity. it's terrifying. and lonely.

it took me some time, but i finally realized that wanted or not, leadership and responsibility were mine. i could either resent it and be mad, or accept it and make a difference. i like to think i've chosen the latter. it still get frustrated at times, but when those moments come i try to remember that people often seek in others what they lack in themselves. i'm blessed with confidence, intellect, creativity, courage, the ability to think for myself. i wouldn't trade those for any amount of peaceful anonymity.

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