Monday, June 25, 2012


I was resistant to the film version of The Hunger Games when it first came out, earlier this year. I hadn't even read the book, yet, but I didn't want to indulge the concept of teenagers murdering each other, even in fictional form. Even so, I knew I would give in to this most recent book-to-movie fad immediately if I just gave it a chance, judging by the comments I had read on facebook.

And hooked I was, when I read the first book cover to cover during my vacation.

I appreciated the symbolism of the lethal competition, especially in the main character's rebellion against government control. So many graphic, vivid, and even shocking scenes described in the book, scenes that I couldn't stop thinking about.

When I returned from vacation I found myself replaying the gruesome attacks in my mind, while jogging, including the venom-induced death by Tracker Jacker mutant wasps. The deadly insects seemed to be a corporal representation of the slings and arrows we endure in life, emotional and otherwise.

While jogging, another favorite fairytale death came to mind: the iocane powder scene from The Princess Bride. I thought about how the hero, Wesley, masquerading as the Dread Pirate Roberts, had spent some time slowly building up an immunity to iocane powder.

I told BFF Kathy that maybe we are able to build up an equivalent immunity of the emotional iocane powder in our lives. Whatever upsets us, whatever our own version of Tracker Jacker wasps are that we feel attacked by, maybe we need to embrace it. Maybe we can absorb the pain and venom of some situations, and process it in order to survive it, become stronger.

I don't want to hurt other people, but neither do I want to be hurt. I would not want to kill competitors in something as severe as the "Hunger Games," but neither would I want to be killed.

On an emotional level, instead of deliberately hurting others, even in self defense, can't I just build up enough strength and immunity to be able to withstand minor attacks? Given a choice, I would rather not, of course.

But we all know that we don't always have a choice in these matters, in our own individual lives. So I aim to make constant effort, to continually improve the odds in my favor.

"I have spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder."
~Wesley, The Princess Bride

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