I watched a new release movie on a theatre a few weeks ago, and it really impressed me that I wanted to share it with you, dear readers. I won’t go into the specific title of the movie but after I tell you the plot you would know what movie it is.
The movie is about a crew of astronauts that went to Mars. While exploring the Red Planet, a very strong storm (by earth standards, the atmosphere in Mars is thin), which forced them to leave the planet hurriedly. One of the astronauts was knocked down by a communication equipment and got blown off. They thought he was dead so they made the heartbreaking choice of leaving him behind.
They were morosely mistaken. He was alive, and using his all his mental and physical resources, he made a plan on how to survive in the inhospitable planet until the next mission arrives (four Earth years later). The survival part was the most exciting part because this is the ultimate survival story for us earthbound earthlings. He is 55,000,000 kilometers away on an environment without air, water and food except what was in the habitat.
The first thing I noticed is his attitude: instead of having a “woe is me” moment, he maintained a calm and enthusiastic demeanor.
So what did I learn from this movie?
First – It’s great to have a PhD in Botany OK, so our hero is well trained on a basic skill called planting. He used his plant growing skills to grow a plant to sustain him. In reality, a basic knowledge in growing veggies or fruits is good enough. But knowledge itself is useless if not applied to produce results.
Attitude will transform us – Our astronaut is left on a barren and hostile planet, his nearest buddies thought he was dead and earth is several months away even at 25,000 kph. What would most of us do? Sulk? Get depressed? Feel really bad for ourselves? Instead he started recording his daily activities, cracking jokes sometimes and was generally in a cheery mood while trying to contact his spaceship and NASA to tell them he’s still alive. Cheer up and be happy that we have challenges!
Break down problems – He put down pencil to paper and wrote what he needed: Oxygen, Food, Shelter, Communications and,oh yeah, a heater – it was about -50 degrees Centigrade there. He broke down the problem into little pieces. Then he wrote solutions on each one. Life oftentimes presents overwhelming scenarios but the way to beat it is to step back and figure out how to tackle it – one step at a time!
Find Help – he managed to gain contact with Earth and later with his spaceship and was able to get help mapping out how he can be rescued. Most of the time, we can fix problems by listening to counsel and working with others to formulate a real solution. We can also find help in voluminous information available in books and the internet.
Less is More – When he found the advance space vehicle to launch himself from the planet’s surface, he took off many unnecessary parts to lighten the load and have the spacecraft fly further. He even used a plastic sheeting to cover the nose of the craft.
In our lives, we sometimes carry much material baggage: just look in any garage or closet. Sometimes we think that one of these days, we will be able to use what we store. Instead the junk is piling up unused by anyone.
Excess baggage is so constricting. We need to get rid of the non essential.
Pray – it was never mentioned in the movie but since NASA made press conferences, our hero astronaut became the most popular person on earth. Naturally, we can assume that at least tens of millions of people were praying for his survival and successful rescue.
I sometimes get overwhelmed by unfamiliar situations – before the day is over, I have already prayed a few times for guidance.
I hope you liked this movie review – because I have another one.