Engaged in Transition

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

– Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay:

This summer I took a course on integrity. The entomology of the word “integrity” stems from the word “integer”, meaning whole. Therefore, we discussed integrity as a search for “wholeness”, and what is involved in that process.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, has more commentary to offer than just the story of a woman in a post-apocalyptic setting. In the film rendition of the first book, there is a scene between President Snow, and his fearful right-hand man. The following dialogue is a pivotal scene in the movie.

President Snow: Seneca… why do you think we have a winner?

Seneca Crane: [frowns] What do you mean?

President Snow: I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean, if we just wanted to intimidate the districts, why not round up twenty-four of them at random and execute them all at once? Be a lot faster.

President Snow: Hope.

Seneca Crane: Hope?

President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.

Seneca Crane: So…?

President Snow: So, CONTAIN it.

It is easy to be afraid. It is easy to be mad. It is easy to despair. It is not easy to have hope. Having hope challenges us to constantly overcome all the odds. It challenges us to look at all the manure in the world and see it at fertilizer for the future. There is very little that can stop an inspired, hopeful individual. There is a saying, “people are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.” Life is not a cakewalk. Many times in our lives we will be put in hot water. It is in those times that we prove not only to the

There is a saying, “people are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.” Life is not a cakewalk. Many times in our lives we will be put in hot water. It is in those times that we prove not only to the world, but to ourselves that we are strong when we are hopeful. In the face of

In the face of unrest we must challenge ourselves to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Leading by example is incredibly hard. Having prevailing hope is incredibly hard. Although it is cliché, it is true that if it were easy, everyone would do it. Suffering allows

Suffering allows to us gain a greater understanding of ourselves, and the world around us. David Brooks writes a great deal about suffering in his book The Road to Character. He asserts that suffering changes us, by allowing us to see things exactly how they are. “[Happiness] brings pleasure, but [suffering] cultivates character.” What shapes us most in life is not our happiness, but rather the challenges that we overcome. These challenges sharpen us and shape us into stronger, wiser, and more whole individuals.

However, we should not compare one person’s pain to another person’s; just because your broken leg hurts you doesn’t mean my stubbed toe doesn’t hurt. Suffering shouldn’t be compared. I believe that we should be aware of other’s suffering, but ultimately, we have no control over that. We should realize that we have been blessed with much, and that therein is hope. If that means that we think to ourselves “well, at least I’m better off than that guy” then that, as demeaning as it is, is a form of hope. We at least have the ability to realize that it could be worse. When we realize that, in a certain way, we have hope.

As we search for integrity, for wholeness, in our lives we must strive to maintain our hope. Hopelessness is a pitfall of sinking sand that is hard to recover from. Our journey will not be easy. We will fail many times along the way, but when we do, we should strive to keep hope alive. Having hope is what allows us to keep pushing forward; to keep us searching for what we are craving from life. Hope is stronger than fear because hope is harder to maintain.

– Delyn Bull

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