The second last episode of the infamous Netflix show, “Squid Games,” really had me pondering. There was a powerful scene that taught me about myself and how easily I could be influenced. Before I break it down, let me explain what the show is about for those that didn’t watch it.
About the show
Squid Games is about a man in debt that gets influenced to play a deadly game series among others in similar circumstances to win an extraordinary large sum of money. The games are rather childish with the first round being a version of “red light, green light,” however, not so childish because players get shot when they lose. Throughout the games, people would team up, lose trust, go against their own principles and values, etc. It taught everyone how different they would behave when put in extreme situations.
Anyway, the last episode included finalists “Seong Gi-Hun“ and “Cho Sang-Woo“ who were childhood friends. Sang-Woo lost Gi-Hun’s respect since he began killing others in an attempt to speed through the games to both save himself and win the prize money. So, when they were put against each other for the finale, they got into a bloody fight. Though Gi-Hun got stabbed by Sang-Woo, when he had the chance to stab him back, he purposely missed and tried to forfeit.
At the edge of winning 46 billion won, Gi-Hun chose to quit the game so Sang-Woo could remain alive and they both could go home.
At that moment, I was surprised.
Considering hundreds of people died in the games, wouldn’t their lives count for nothing if no one claimed the prize money? But to Gi-Hun’s logic, saving one more life was more important. That made me question myself and how inappropriate my thinking was. Would I have let Chang-Woo die? Would I have done harm to others similar to Chang-Woo if I was in his shoes so that I could win the game?
This reminds me of the Stanley Milgram experiment where a psychologist had ordinary people follow instructions and give fellow “participants” electrical shocks. The results indicated that the majority of people can be easily manipulated to harm others when ordered by those in authority.
Would I have been manipulated too?
There was a time when I used to internally judge those that would go against their principles when under pressure. I can’t say I don’t judge people entirely anymore, however, that’s certainly toned down as I gain more experiences that allow me to understand different points of view.
I always thought I had a firm understanding of right from wrong. I still feel that I do have that, however, we never know what we’d do unconsciously or under extreme circumstances. This also makes me wonder whether that means I should be more forgiving of those that do wrong in such extreme cases. Are people worthy of forgiveness when they make certain mistakes related to bad judgement? Perhaps it depends on the situation, but I’m leaning towards “Yes, they should.”
Moving forward, I think I’ll be more forgiving of people for making certain decisions based on intent. If their intent is to do what’s best or the right thing but they make a mistake and recognize that, who are we to judge? The likelihood is, we’ve made bad judgement calls before too.
I hope you all part from this blog with more forgiveness in your hearts towards those that make poor decisions. It’s important to give people the benefit of the doubt and remember that things can go wrong even when making decisions with positive intent. Thank you for reading!