"The Squid Game." Personal Lessons Californians should learn about this series

Narda Maren

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Photo by David Gomez from Pexeles

At this point, few people have not seen the South Korean production “The Squid Game.” A rather crude Netflix series that has broken world audience records. With a lot of symbology, an aggressive thematic, not suitable for sensitive people.

With its nine chapters worthy of a marathon, “The Squid Game” keeps you attentive to the screen-filling us with suspense, surprises, emotions, and yes, a lot of blood. But in addition to this, the South Korean series can leave us thinking and give us many teachings about human behavior in extreme situations.

Why focus on California for this series of tips or reflections? Because unfortunately, just as it is one of the wealthiest states in the US, it is also one of the poorest.

The Californians' wealth gap is the state's number one vulnerability, according to Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

"The gap between rich and poor impacts housing costs, the cost of living, the homeless crisis, and ultimately makes some wonder if they have a future here." - BBC News

Due to the great social inequality, the central theme of "The Squid Game," we wanted to direct this article to California, a state that has much more to give.

Note: Spoilers Below.

Wrong decisions can change your story

The series brings together 456 people who have no alternative but to enter the “game” to pay off their debts and survive. But that was not their first wrong decision, but the series of events and bad choices that they made up to that point in their lives.

Many people can say they had bad luck, were born into poverty, and many other factors. And, although the environment where you developed influences a lot, we all can turn our lives around if we make good decisions.

In addition, already within the game, whether you win depends a lot on chance; it also depends on the participant’s choices, from a number to carry to who to share the contest. The least can influence your life.
Be wise when making a decision.

Human beings don’t always see what is with the naked eye

That is symbolically represented in the production. Although each participant wants to know what the next game is to be prepared, they do not realize that they are all painted on the walls where they sleep.
Indeed, drawings are covered with the beds, but as games progress and beds are reducing, we can see each of the challenges, which would have given the characters an advantage.

That usually happens in real life. We are so focused on a problem that we cannot see the solutions in plain sight. Seeing outside the box is an expression that indicates that the key to a particular circumstance is not always in the obvious.

Learn to see beyond the elemental.

Power tends to corrupt

At the end of the series, we can see that excess money and power can cause people to lose their humanity, sense of justice, and empathy.

Power without humanity is one of the most dangerous things that can exist. Also, someone said that the most disgusting thing is an ignorant man with excess authority; when we speak of ignorance, we do not necessarily mean little education; there are many kinds of ignorance.

Therefore, not everyone should be able to have it. Throughout human history, we have many examples of this.

Don’t let power take away your humanity.

We don’t value our childhood enough

Many children do not have a good time in their early years, which marks them for life. However, it is usually the most beautiful stage we live in, and we do not appreciate it.

The series shows it from two perspectives, starting with the types of games selected (children’s games that unfortunately turn into massacre) and why the leader has opted for children’s games due it was his happiest stage.

When you are a child, you are innocent; you can enjoy the most uncomplicated games. Even if you have no money, enjoy playing with your friends, and it doesn’t seem like time is running out. However, we realize this when it is too late.

We recognize it when we are covered by adult problems such as doubts, fears, debts. As adults, we must learn from children to be amazed at the little things, curious just because, live without shame, and enjoy the simplicity of life to add a little more sparkle to our adult existence.

Children have no limits to dreams.

Feeling that someone identifies with you makes you a better person

Even the most distrustful and apathetic person can soften if someone offers a sincere friendship or a simple disinterested gesture.

The tests you pass can create a shell for you, but if someone, and even a stranger, makes a nice gesture without expecting anything in return, it can make a difference this can cause a chain reaction. 

We can see this in “The Squid Game” with the North Korean girl, who did not trust anyone, but thanks to the solidarity of one of her companions, she managed to soften her character. 

So don’t hesitate to make a nice gesture with someone whenever you can; you never know who you can change their life to with a single smile.

We don’t know what we are capable of until we find ourselves in extreme situations

This is one of the highlights of the series. At first, everyone has one goal (to earn money to pay off their debts and start over), but as the process progresses, all the characters bring out their best and worst in themselves.

In everyday life, it is not necessary to play games in which your life is at risk; you behave according to how circumstances take you. And this can make you bring out the hero or the devil in you.

Looking from a positive point of view, imagine that your family begins to go through financial problems and a company offers you a good job, but you think you cannot do it. You start to doubt, but you force yourself to take the job because you find yourself at a crossroads.

You may be surprised by how many people have been in that situation and not only do the work; They do it in extraordinary ways.

Anger can transform you into an unimaginable human being

Out of anger and even due to the most sudden outrage, you may, on impulse, do something you never imagined you would do. Perhaps later, with a cool head, you will finally regret what you did.

We can see this when the protagonist of the series (a kind person) wants to kill his childhood friend as he is full of hatred and disappointment. The feeling of sudden anger is difficult to control but not impossible.

Try to analyze things before taking any action that you may regret in life. Self-control is essential in all aspects of life; that is why we must work on it.

We always tend to blame others for our decisions

We all have the wrong idea that our problems are someone else’s responsibility. We blame our parents, our partners, our bosses, but it is not like that. We are responsible for our own decisions.

In the series, we see how everyone entered the squid game by their own decision, had the opportunity to leave, and came back by their judgment; even so, they continued to blame them for everything that happened. As adults, we must learn once and for all to take responsibility for our problems without blaming anyone else.

We are all responsible for our destiny.

Having money is not enough to feel complete.

Finally, I think what “The Squid Game” taught us the most is that just because you have a lot of money does not mean that you are satisfied with it. You may think that you are missing something, that it just doesn’t feel complete.

Don’t get me wrong, having money is not bad; on the contrary, it opens up a world of possibilities in life. And people living in misery live in constant agony because they cannot meet their basic needs. But, having money, as is the case with the VIPs of the series, being a millionaire can make you lose the meaning of life (you simply no longer have why or who to fight for).

Both extremes are a problem. The poor man cannot meet his basic needs, but if he tries hard enough, he can have a good life and have fun with his friends or family in a humble but happy way. Without an excellent ethical foundation, the exaggeratedly wealthy person may lose his humanity and think that those underneath are nothing, just puppets to have fun with from time to time.

I left you with one of the phrases of the series, a phrase that makes us think that, at crucial moments, an opportunity always comes.

“The good rain knows when to fall.” — Du Fu.

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Los Angeles, CA
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