I recently spent my Thursday night watching the re-release of Bong Joon-Ho’s Oscar-nominated “Parasite.” The film centers around the poor Kim family trying to get one up on the rich Park family by weaseling their way into working as support staff for the family, and the film itself is a critique of the juxtaposition of the rich and poor classes but one such scene highlights this more clearly than any other.
The scene opens as such. The poor family is spending a few days living in the lap of luxury, taking over the Park family’s house, while the Park family is away on a camping trip for their son’s birthday. Spoiler heavy shenanigans happen and a torrential downpour forces the Park family home from their camping trip sending the Kim family back to their poor hovel in the middle of the night. When they finally make it back to their home they find it a flooded mess being invaded by the oppressive rainstorm, eventually leading to the plumbing launching into their home. The Park family experienced a mild inconvenience while the Kim family ended up spending the night in a homeless shelter with most of their possessions floating down the street.
Both families experienced discomfort because of the rainstorm but one family experienced only mild discomfort while the other experienced devastating setbacks. The experience is valid in both cases, but one is much worse than the other.
That is the problem with human experience.
Every bit of human emotion, pain, joy, trauma, insecurity, are all equally valid. The valley girl that just broke a nail from her $250 dollar manicure has just as valid a problem as the impoverished woman that needs to choose between her own insulin or food for her children.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Human beings have problems and being sucked into the black and white mindset of better thee but worse than me can be incredibly toxic to individual mental health. Creating a realm where you can cope with your personal problems while also maintaining an educated and open-minded perspective is incredibly important.