What I Learned From Watching The Hunger Games

Hunger Games bow and arrow

Last night, I watched the Hunger Games. And I noticed something interesting theme:

It’s easier
to kill someone
at a distance

…than to kill someone
Standing right in front of you

At a distance
There is less empathy

When I can’t see someone’s face
There is less empathy

I think of this in relation to war, eating animals, and the local news. 

If there’s a mass shooting in Brooklyn, it would be alarming! I LIVE NEAR BROOKLYN! That shit is near me. But if there’s a shooting in Ohio (no offense Ohio), but I just don’t have the same emotional reaction.  It’s too far removed from my circle. Not to say “I don’t care,” but it’s just not as relevant or impactful. Have you ever watched the local news from another state?

We do the same with animals. Have you ever killed an pig with your bear hands? But have you eaten bacon? It’s easier when someone else does it. What I like to call, “Killing by proxy.” There’s no doubt, that murder at a distance, is just easier to stomach.

I wonder: how we can cultivate the same amount of empathy for life around the world, as we have for life in our neighborhood? Or is there an argument to be made that we should prioritize our local districts?