Learn to grow potatoes for yourself

If you want to know what true despair is, be sure to ask Mark Watney.

Of course this is just a joke, because Mark Watney is a fictional character from the best-selling geek novel “The Martian” by American writer Andy Weir. On a certain year, month and day, the American spacecraft Ares 3 successfully landed on Mars. What is expected is that a violent storm suddenly appeared on Mars, and the sky was dark for a while, flying sand and rocks. Ares 3 was forced to suspend its mission and return to voyage urgently. At this moment, astronaut Mark Watney was unfortunately hit by the parts blown off from the spacecraft. The instrument showed that he had no vital signs. His teammates focused on the overall situation, so they had to abandon him, flew away from Mars, and declared to Earth through NASA that he had died.

However, Mark Watney did not die, but was injured in a coma. When he woke up, he found desperately that the spacecraft and his teammates had left, leaving him alone on the huge Mars. He struggled to enter the Mars space base to recover from his injuries, but what made him even more desperate was that the base’s supplies could only last for 31 days, and NASA’s next Mars mission was four years later.

The opening of the novel “The Martian” is written in the self-narrative tone of Mark Watney: “I and his X are completely dead. This is the conclusion that I have considered again and again… The Wikipedia page about me will say, “Mark Watney is the only person to die on Mars so far.”

In 2015, the 77-year-old genius director Ridley Scott made this novel into a movie of the same name, starring Matt Damon, which vividly presented the desperate situation faced by Mark Watney. It has been 6 years since the premiere of this movie.

Fate has given us despair, but it may not give us time for despair. Mark Watney quickly recovered from the almost incomprehensible fear of death. He didn’t want to die like this. He had to save himself and exhaust his mind to survive. As a result, we saw a confident and busy figure with the help of the silver screen, doing everything alone on the surface of Mars: making water, making electricity, making air, transforming the habitat cabin, and Mars electric vehicles. The most important thing is that he wants to turn himself into a botanist or a Martian farmer. With the help of only a few live potatoes, he can grow more potatoes to satisfy his hunger, and then send a spacecraft to the earth, which is an average of 225 million kilometers away. In the end, as the readers and viewers expected, Mark Watney was saved with difficulty and returned to Earth.

Although this is a sci-fi work, it conveys a clear allegory temperament. In real life, who has not experienced the darkest moment of despair? This darkest moment may be about love, or it may be about marriage, or test for school, stocks, job hunting, or due to fate, encountering unskilled people, exploring the wild, falling into a deep valley… So the test for us is official begin.

Reality cannot be as dangerous as science fiction. It is so dangerous that you are hundreds of thousands of miles away from the earth, it is difficult to breathe, and it seems that you will die at any time; reality is crueler than science fiction, because you do not necessarily have a rescued ending, maybe you will die Drop. However, reality and science fiction both follow the same logic, that is, the person involved must possess some basic qualities in order to be finally rescued, such as a strong will to survive, a calm psychological quality, clear rationality, and survival skills based on accumulated knowledge.

“The Martian” also talked about a basic principle. People must save themselves in order to win others’ help. You have scorned yourself, and others cannot help. However, other people’s help is not to shout out like an olive branch. We must learn to endure and wait, learn to grow potatoes for ourselves like Mark Watney.

In any case, survive first.