The last time I wasn’t able to chip in a conversation about “Squid Game” was during a team project. Our group chose to present a case study regarding Netflix’s business strategy, and that was when I decided to watch the show. “Squid Game” was boosting Netlfix’s shares to outperform its rivals within a month of release, so it didn’t make sense if I were to present about Netflix’s original content business without actually knowing the drama. Or I may have been way too caught up in my crowded schedule and simply needed some time off. What’s important is that the pouring reviews were what kept me from watching the show while almost literally everyone that I knew of - even my own parents - had watched it. It’s an irony, yes, considering that a large portion of the viewers ended up watching the drama mainly due to the rave reviews that were hot worldwide. Once I got to know about the provocative plot of the show, the life-risking survival game in which people of the lower social class play to win the final $38.6 million prize, I couldn’t care less about it. The subjects of social hierarchy and life of the impoverished class are indeed a disturbing reality we should face, and such themes reflected in shows such as “The Penthouse: War in Life” series were highly successful in Korea during the past few years. Now, it has been proven that the global audiences are fanatical about those provocative displays of such subjects as well. Except for me (and I’m sure there are more), because I’m not the case.
As expected, I’m particularly fond of stories of good-hearted people – the characters who turn around and find their own way. Such stories are considered inefficient and frustrating, and often times ridiculed as “cringy“ if worse. Nevertheless, I cherish the story of injured people looking for light in the darkness of despair. However painful the process may be, it's better to reach a happy ending in the end regardless of the good or evil roles. That’s why I like the story of achieving and getting rewarded as much as one strives. When someone contemplates and takes a hard path, I hope that path is in the right direction. I want everyone to achieve something from the most trivial matters. In fact, compensation is no big deal. It does not necessarily have to be wealth or fame, because understanding one’s good intention and hard work is all that matters sometimes. No one might understand, but that doesn’t make the time and effort meaningless so there is no need to regret trying for it. It's also important not to lose the courage to walk that path again.
Some of you may think that I’m merely an ideologist and I have no intention to deny it – I’m somewhere between childish and childlike, naïve and innocent. But as the Eastern philosophy suggests, I believe that every man is born as an individual to become human within the society of mankind. Evil is also human nature and it takes us more time and effort to be kind. Being good is not as easy as it seems after all. It has to do with knowing what’s right and wrong, having the power to walk away from the shortcuts of evil, treating others in a way we want to be treated, and pursuing good however long a journey it may be. Thus, when people talk about social irregularities and low lives, others should have a voice about good, hoping that it would make the world a little better place. Who knows? A small flap may bring about a butterfly effect to change the world. It’s fine if nothing changes as long as it pushes the back of another courageous person to walk in the path again.