One of my all-time favorite books, The Hunger Games, has always been a great example to me in terms of how to be a fierce, selfless, and wise older sister. Towards the beginning of the story, a drawing occurs that places two teenagers (one boy and one girl) from each impoverished district into a battle royale – the Hunger Games. The two people whose names are selected are forced to go into the Hunger Games by the superior capital citizens. It is a very unfortunate and nerve wracking situation to have your name drawn. The main character Katniss Everdeen, and her younger sister, Primrose Everdeen, are both teenagers whose names must be placed into the drawing. When Primrose’s name is selected to be the girl representing their district, Katniss stands up in front of the crowd, and volunteers to take her younger sister’s place, knowing that participating in the Hunger Games will most likely result in death. In past drawings, there had never been a volunteer to take someone else’s place who had been selected, so she surprises and amazes all the districts and capital citizens with her bravery. This extremely difficult decision to offer herself up truly reveals her selfless character and the love that she has for her younger sister.
My personal thoughts about her choice to essentially give her life up caused me to reflect on what I would have done as an individual. I honestly do not know if I would be able to make the decision she made that day in this story. Her strength to save her sister from the Hunger Games is the type of strength and love that I aspire to model for my two younger sisters. Sure, it would be highly unlikely to be in as extreme of a situation as Katniss and her younger sister were, but there are several times in my life where I must make difficult decisions and sacrifices for my sisters. Whether it be waking up early to drive them to school, buying them lunch, or helping them with homework, I know that the small moments and sacrifices can be just as important as the big ones. I think that Katniss’ first thoughts were not even whether or not she wanted to take her sisters’ place – her natural instinct as an older sister was to simply protect and save her sister – it was her obligated duty. Such courage. Such selflessness. In my opinion, her actions showed what real and authentic love is all about – not just the sisterly and sibling kind of love, but love in general. Giving up one’s life and personal desires to care for the people who mean the most is love. The little details matter just as much as the extravagant ones do. Katniss’ choice has set an example of what it means to show up, take initiative, and stand up for those that are weaker than oneself.
I can only hope that more people in the world choose choices like Katniss’, and that those who have read The Hunger Games or watched the movie were just as moved as I was by her choice in such a tricky situation. The decision she makes in the story causes me to be more willing to make the small sacrifices for not only my sisters, but those in the world around me.
Thank you for your consideration,