From Our Readers
November 20, 2015 9:23 am

With the last and final installment of the Hunger Games series coming to theaters today, I’m celebrating all the things that I’ve learned from the movies. Especially what heroine Katniss Everdeen taught me about life, love, bravery, and being stuck in a romantic triangle. Here are all the lessons she’s taught me.

Don’t be afraid to accept help when you need it most

Katniss wasn’t ashamed to take Peeta’s bread when her family was starving. Furthermore, she isn’t arrogant about her archery skills, and doesn’t try to show them off like the other tributes boast their skills.

Be yourself

In The Hunger Games, survival is not ensured by skill and wit alone, but also popularity (popularity means sponsors, which means lifesaving gifts in the moment of greatest need). Katniss is nervous about how to make people like her during her interview with Ceasar Flickerman, but her charm lies in being her slightly awkward, honest, unintentionally witty self. Being herself not only wins Katniss sponsors and support, but also the guy.

Family is everything

Katniss’ purpose in life is caring for her family, and her inner strength during her ordeal comes from the desire to take care of her younger sister, Primrose, and her mother.

Perseverance counts, even in the face of impossible odds

Katniss faces multiple crushing setbacks, yet she never, never gives up. And she never feels sorry for herself.

Be kind to your enemies

Okay, so Rue would never be Katniss’ enemy outside of the arena, but they’re supposed to be enemies in the Games. Katniss sees the humanity in her competitors. Rue and Katniss genuinely care about each other and want to help each other, perhaps an understated yet powerful statement against the Capitol and the Hunger Games. Katniss’ simple gesture of kindness to Rue, even in her death, earned her respect and started a movement in the Districts against the evils of the Capitol. A single act of kindness can spark change like wildfire.

You can do impossible-seeming things if you work hard enough 

Katniss wants to win the Hunger Games, but she’s willing to try. Initially she has doubts that she can win against those who have trained all their lives for the Games… but she does.

Focusing really helps

Katniss was able to overcome the odds against her her to win the Hunger Games because she doesn’t let her mind get cluttered with useless thoughts that won’t change the situation. Whereas Peeta wants to show the Capitol “that they don’t own me,” Katniss warns Peeta, “I can’t afford to think like that.” She doesn’t let self-defeating or distracting thoughts keep her from her goal. Plus, think of how much focus is required to shoot a bow like that!

True strength comes from within

Love makes Katniss stronger, not weaker (unlike another nameless heroine from a popular Vampire series), and not just Peeta’s love, but also Katniss’ love for her family, especially Prim. It’s refreshing to see a young girl whose sole purpose in life is greater than pining away for some boy. Peeta needs Katniss just as much as she needs him.

Honing your skills pays off

Katniss is killer with a bow and arrow (in more ways than one). She’s passionate and dedicated to her craft and her skills server her and others in times of need.

Sometimes you’ve got to fake it to make it

Katniss repeatedly says, “Everything is okay,” even when it seems like it’s not. She says it to Primrose before she’s hauled off to the Capitol, and she says it again to Peeta when there’s a gaping hole in his leg. In the end, she’s right. Everything is okay.

Kelly Strobel has loved reading and writing since she was six, and has always dreamed of being a novelist. She finally decided to stop dreaming and is in the process of writing her first novel. She writes about her travels in Italy and learning Italian at www.italianatheart.com. And because she loves variety, she has another blog to write about the writing process and contemplate the meaning of life at www.kellysawriter.wordpress.com

[Image courtesy Universal Pictures]

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