When we read books, we often associate with a character and take on their feelings.
It's not very often, though, that I actually want to be someone in a book. Typically, the people I associate with are fighting dragons, spying on other nations, or saving the world. Frankly, I'll let them handle that business - I don't know the first thing about dragons.
There is one guy I want to be like, though.
I want to be like Caesar.
Caesar is powerful. Caesar is mighty. And regardless of what the people want, Caesar rules.
Plus, he gets to wear a toga, which looks mighty comfortable.
Err... wait. Wrong Caesar. Let me try again.
Caesar is one of those everyday staples in life. He's a miniature version of the guy from Rome, and instead of serving up punishment, he serves up heart attacks in the form of pizza.
And again with the toga. I've gotta get myself one of those.
Ugh. Not him. No, no, no.
Let's try this one more time.
Caesar is a guy that is often overlooked by many who hear about him. He plays an instrumental role in the process he's a part of, but he stands out from the rest of the pack.
Plus, he has some pretty intense hair, which I could go for.
Cue the nerdfest.
In the books, there are two things about Caesar that Katniss, the main character, notes.
First of all, Caesar has been hosting the Hunger Games pre-game interviews for several decades. Reason seems to dictate that he would be tired of the gig after a while, especially as he grows older. However, Katniss notes that over the years, Caesar has remained unchanged, both physically and mentally.
Now, granted, part of the reason that Caesar hasn't changed is because of plastic surgery and the Capitol's affinity for eccentric appearances. This isn't something I necessarily care about - my beard should make that clear.
However, there's something more meaningful hidden beneath the surface with Caesar's demeanor through the years. He has witnessed person after person dying at the hands of the very city he serves, and yet, he still remains upbeat and jovial.
Again, part of this is due to the nature of the Capitol as consumer-driven, viewing the Hunger Games as mere entertainment, rather than actual tragedy (sound familiar?). However, I think the lesson to be learned from Caesar reflects what we heard from Angela in yesterday's post. Regardless of his circumstance, Caesar remains unchanged, enjoying every moment he is given.
The second reason I want to be like Caesar Flickerman is this: Caesar makes everyone around him seem better than they are.
Before Katniss goes to do her interview, Haymitch (her mentor) tries to coach her up, to make her more likable. It turns out that he can't figure out how to help her and remarks that she has "as much charm as a dead slug."
Naturally, after hearing this, you expect Katniss to bomb her interview with Caesar and to be booed off stage. Not so fast, though.
Instead of letting her crash and burn as a dead slug, Caesar allows Katniss to flourish as "the girl on fire." Though everything rides on her interview going well, Katniss manages to have the personality of a cardboard box. But, even when he isn't given much to work with, Caesar works to make others look like stars. And he does exactly that for Katniss and Peeta as they prepare to enter the Hunger Games.
There's something to be said for Caesar's way of life. Sure, he has his pitfalls - he is a member of the Capitol, after all. But all in all, Caesar is a guy who makes everyone around him shine a little brighter.
And then I wonder: am I anything like him? Do I refract the limelight from myself to shine it on others? Do I strive to push others to greatness, regardless of how I feel about them?
Honestly, I doubt that I do this often. I wish I could say that I always want people to succeed. The truth is, if I'm not excelling, I don't want others to either. And that's a part of me that I wish would die hard.
So today, I want to be more like Caesar Flickerman. I want to cast the spotlight on others, bringing out the good in them and disregarding what I "think" is bad. I want them to catch fire (in a good way, of course), and burn brightly for all to see, instead of wishing for them to fall flat on their faces. I want to help others, not hold them back. I want to rejoice with those who rejoice, instead of secretly spiting them for their success.
We should all work a little harder today to be more like Caesar.
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Questions: Do you struggle to celebrate with others when they excel beyond you? Are there particular people in your life that you can't see the good in? What are some of their positive traits that you can celebrate today? How can you make others look a little better today?
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photo credits - TudouMao (sxc.hu) & Dano (Flikr Creative Commons)