My wife, my son and I went to see the movie The Martian, with Matt Damon this week. It was a rare treat for my son because we normally don’t do movie night during a school week. But seeing as though he is doing great in school, I figured that he had earned it.
The Martian is a great example of what to do when you are presented, by no fault of your own, with a problem so enormous, so vast, so massive, succeeding or failing is a matter of life and death. True not everyone is confronted with such decisions on a day to day basis. Many of us, however, are confronted with equally challenging problems, obstacles, roadblocks, set-backs, and pitfalls that test the limits of who we are and what we are capable of. Some of us unfortunately give up, while others find a way to survive, to overcome, to thrive. Would you have the capacity, the confidence and the presence of mind to respond similarly as Mark Watney (Matt Damon)? Would you conquer the situation or would the situation conquer you?
If you have not seen this movie, I recommend it. While it is rated PG-13 and while there is a little too much profanity, I recommend it particularly for tweens, teenagers and young adults. I also recommend taking the time afterwards to have a conversation with your child about the inherent and powerful messages in the movie. Because after all, you never know when your child will have to make a similar decision about whether to give up or whether to find a way to overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenge(s) before him/her.