These books pretty much consumed my life in the short time it took me to read them. Now that I am done reading them, I find that I want to keep talking about the books. Here are some of my thoughts on what we should learn from the Hunger Games. Spoiler alert: If you haven’t finished the books, you may not want to read!

1. Don’t be so wasteful: Don’t be like the people in the capitol living a life of excess while others suffered! Take a couple of minutes to think about how wasteful we really are. How much food do you throw away because it goes bad before you eat it? How many times have you taken a long shower because it feels SO good? I’m no angel, I probably throw away more lettuce than I eat. But, since reading the books, I definitely think twice. If Katniss can have wild dog stew, I can eat my salad even though I am dreaming of take-out. We could all learn a little from the waste-not, want-not attitude of district 13.

2. Don’t become de-sensitized: Don’t let reality TV and the evening news make you forget that there are real people with real problems out there. Now, I am not talking about white girl problems. I am talking about the real suffering in the world. I know we hear about shootings and war all the time and it can be overwhelming. Don’t forget that people in Iraq and Africa love their babies as much as we do. People in Uganda want a good life just like you do. We are not entitled to a better life because of where we live.

3. Learn to be resourceful: How many of you thought while reading these books, “Well I’d be dead first!”? We are all so clueless because of the easy lives we have led. We live in this suburban bubble. This doesn’t mean that you need to learn to shoot a bow and arrow and kill your dinner. But maybe you can start a garden, or learn about your local environment. Are you fit enough to hike to safety in an emergency? Do you know CPR or how to make a tourniquet? Hopefully this will never be an issue for you and you stay in your bubble, but…..

4. A young girl can change the world: What are we teaching our young people- girls especially? Do they know-not only- their potential but also about their obligation to improve their world/community. I grew up with good parents in a good community and truly DID believe that I could do whatever I wanted. However, no one told me that I would be expected to sacrifice for the betterment of all (maybe they did and I wasn’t listening). That should be a lesson we all learn. Women right now need to step up and be the positive role models our young girls (and boys!) need. If not us, it will be all Snooki and Kardashians and god knows who else.

5. You DO have time to read: I have to give credit to my sister for this one. But how many of you think to yourself “I am a mom, I work full-time, I have no time to read”? How fast did you read the Hunger Games? I have a 3 1/2 year old boy, an 8 month old girl, a full-time job, and I just started a boot camp. I read all three books in 12 days. I can no longer use the excuse that I don’t have time to read. We are obviously just not prioritizing. I love when people say I don’t have time to work out but they have 3 hours a week for American Idol. You make time for what you want. Make time to read!