"What?" I ask defensively.
"You just remember who the enemy is," Haymitch tells me. "That's all. Now go on. Get out of here."
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I've been recalling this scene a lot lately. It's a moment through the rest of the book Katniss has to keep reminding herself of and she doesn't completely understand it while she's in the arena for the second time. I think it's advice we all need to remember from time to time.
Our society has been in an uproar over so many things lately. Racism, sex scandals, terrorism, religion... need I go on? We've been trying to process all of these events happening, figuring out why, getting defensive, and we point fingers at why and who's fault it is. The witch from Into the Woods voice rings in my head "Of course what matters is to blame. Somebody to blame. If that's what you enjoy placing the blame if that's the aim give me the blame."
I know I've done it. In the heat of the moment you get angry and type things or say things because you're trying to sort through it all and then end up saying things you might not mean. Attacking somsone out of our pain and our anger thinking "if only they get justice!" or "we need to get rid of this person or this thing" and it will make it all okay again.
We forget who the enemy is.
Not long ago on Tumblr I saw a post comparing riots to The Hunger Games and how we should support those causing the riots. Which, maybe we should, or maybe we shouldn't. I don't know. But, a lot of people forget how in the Hunger Games books, Katniss still had compassion for the citizens of the Capitol. Because they weren't the enemy.
Those who shoot others, who riot, who destroy, who uprise, who hurt, who abuse, are just people. Not that there shouldn't be justice or anything like that - of course there should be. But it's easy to dehumanize them isn't it? They're still people.
Hank Green made a video a few weeks ago about his favorite feelings. He mentioned how one of them wasn't seeing other people fail, even if they deserve it or you don't like them. You think it'll make you feel good, but it doesn't. It's just sad. (You really should watch the video, he says it way better than I do. Click here.) Because they're people.
They aren't the enemy.
Who is the enemy? Who do we blame then?
Racicm. Ignorence. Hate. Being narrow minded. Corruption.
And dare I say it? Satan.
I'm not one to talk about Satan and such a whole lot. Bob Goff explains it best in his book Love Does. "When I think about satan, my thoughts go to how Jesus interacted with him in the desert. Jesus spoke with him for just a few seconds and then sent him away. Satan was a manipulator who wanted to control God, but Jesus had a relationship with God that satan didn't understand, and Jesus had no problem telling him off and getting rid of him. I think we should do the same. That's all I have to say about satan. He gets too much airtime already."
But ultimately, he's the enemy.
I'm not saying we can't get angry and justice shouldn't be served when people do terrible things. We people can do awful things.
But we're all still people.