Survival Value or Value to Survival?

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

I am a staunch admirer of C.S. Lewis and all of his impressive writing. However, I do, in a sense, disagree with this quote about friendship. Certainly human beings can survive physically life without friendship. But on an emotional or spiritual level, I think that it is impossible to survive life without friends.

I worked at a campground this past summer. It was hard and I probably was working or sleeping for at least eighteen hours of the day, if not more. I didn’t like many of the people that I was working for. I had at least half a dozen “bosses” and I felt like I had no one who appreciated me. I had the friendship of my coworkers, who felt as I did. That camaraderie was essential to my survival of the summer. But I also had the friendship of my boss and her husband. That is the relationship that allowed me to survive the summer. Without their friendship, without their love and prayers, I do not think I would have lasted more than two weeks there. Knowing that they cared both helped me to survive and gave value to my survival.

There are many other examples I could give you of how friendship does indeed have survival value. But I think I’ll leave it at that. I don’t normally disagree with Lewis but on that issue I have to.

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