Are You?

You’ll get this if you’re familiar with The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This is “The Hanging Tree” scene from the third movie, Mockingjay Part I. If you’re not familiar with the trilogy, don’t worry. I’ve gotcha covered.

In a nutshell:

The story takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem. The country consists of wealthy, pampered Capitol elitists and 12 surrounding districts whose residents grind out a subsistence living in varying states of poverty. Every year, children ages 12 to 18 are chosen to participate in a compulsory annual televised death match called The Hunger Games. The selection process is by lottery. It’s called “The Reaping.” Each district is required to send two “tributes” to the annual games, a boy and a girl. The twenty-four young people are required to fight to the death inside a high-tech arena. The sole survivor is crowned victor.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the games.  (She’s a crack shot with a bow. Just sayin’.) Katniss is joined by her district’s male tribute, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Together, Katniss and Peeta travel to the Capitol to train for the Hunger Games under the guidance of former victor and full-time cynic, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson).

The unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance aimed at overthrowing the oppressive tyranny of Panem and its despotic President Snowe (Donald Sutherland). The flames of freedom are fanned in Catching Fire. They erupt all over Panem later when Katniss becomes the Mockingjay. (That’s really, really important. In case you’re wondering.)

In today’s political arena, the hanging tree scene from Mockingjay essentially translates into: Get. Off. The Couch. V-O-T-E. Volunteer. Find a candidate worth backing. Do it. No excuses.

Instead of standing idly by wringing your hands and whining about (fill in the blank), do something positive this election season to effect change. Donate. Doorbell. Write letters to the editor. Canvas your neighborhood. Make phone calls. Host a candidate meet and greet. Sign wave. Organize a voter registration drive. Work your social media channels. Mobilize your circles of influence. Think outside the box. Contact a candidate and ask how you can help. When he or she comes to, roll up your sleeves and dive in.

Get creative. Get busy. You’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. It’ll probably cost you, too. Time. Convenience. $. You may even have to get out of your comfort zone. Aren’t your city, county, state, country, family and liberties worth “comin’ to the tree”?

Don’t expect the mythical “other guy” to head to the “tree” – especially if you’re not. You come. Bring as many with you as you can.

Are You?

The point is, engage. At whatever level or venue fits. Are you willing to grab a “necklace of hope” and go?


See you at the tree.