Survival and the Value of Friendship

            One night this past weekend I was awake well past my normal bedtime and heard an episode of radio’s rendition of “The Twilight Zone.”  It made a simple point I want to share with you because it may have an impact on your survival now and in the future.


            The story was a quirky twist on the holiday classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  A sweet, friendly, and rather ditzy girl named Agnes Grep couldn’t keep a job and wasn’t happy.  For example, she couldn’t catch on to the duties of being an usherette at a theater.


On the other hand, she was well liked by people in her apartment complex and was known as Aunt Aggie to the children.  She played with them and gave them candy.  One lady would ask her about the correct recipe for making potato pancakes..  She spoke every morning to a neighbor as he picked up his newspaper.


An angel named Calendar was sent for a span of 24 hours to do something to make her happy.  Like Agnes, he wasn’t too competent and blundered his way through his assignment.  He mistakenly thought Agnes needed to be independently wealthy and live in a New York penthouse, so he snapped his finger and made it happen.  It was quite a step up from her little apartment.


            However, Agnes was not happy being the center attraction at a party for the upper class and didn’t want the clothes closet, which was bigger than her apartment.  The next morning she went back to her old digs, and, you guessed it, nobody recognized her.


            Agnes and the angel had another little talk.  All she wanted was to have things back the way they were.  She just wanted to have friends again.  The angel, who was about to be punished for messing things up, got his wings after all, even though he didn’t really deserve them.  That’s because Agnes was happy.  And you just knew when the story was over that she’d muddle through somehow.  She was going to be all right..


            Perhaps both Agnes and the angel learned a lesson about the value of friendship.  I’m not talking about the rare kind of friendship you have in a confidant, though that’s very important, too.  Maybe a better description is acquaintances with whom you can be neighborly.  You do things for each other, and it’s simply part of getting along with one another in the world.


            How do you get along with your neighbors?  Do you know them?  Are there neighborly acquaintances at work, school, or church?  Are there those with whom you can trade small favors?  How well do you make new friends?  Could you reach out to others both now and in time of calamity?


            By the way, I’m rather antisocial by nature.  I’m definitely not the “people” person my wife is.  So I’m not suggesting dropping your guard instantly the minute someone takes the slightest interest in you.  After all, there are plenty of opportunists and con artists out there waiting to take advantage of you and me.


            Nonetheless, can we learn from the example of Agnes?  Can we be happy with few possessions?  Can we be happy in the midst of instability?  Do we have friends and neighbors we can share with who will help us make it through?  Will we be there to help them make it through?


A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24, King James Bible


 Click here for more on support among neighbors.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

4 thoughts on “Survival and the Value of Friendship”

  1. WOW! I can really relate to this story….especially today. I am on disability and am very low income. I have a service dog named Zeke. I have been writing about him for the 8 years I’ve had him. He is very cute, loving and a fantastic helper dog. He is loved by almost everyone the moment they see him.

    Two nights ago Zeke broke things in his mouth. I put out a plea for donations. By the time the vet appointment rolled around yesterday, there was enough money donated for the initial visit. People are now donating directly to the vet for the rest of the mouth work that needs to be done.

    It’s an amazing story of people helping out my very deserving service dog. Money is nice, but friends are waaaaaaaay better!!!! A group of friends sustains daily and in a pinch, all can rally to help out.

  2. John, this was a great post about the value of the people in our lives. Thank you.

    Wendy’s comment was a wonderful story. I wish her and Zeke well.

    People sometimes ask why I have lived in my neighborhood so long. It’s in the city and north and south of me are areas that aren’t that great. But the neighbors on this street are wonderful. It’s a great community to be a part of. Many times we have all chipped in to help one another. It’s nice to know there are neighbors willing to lend a hand when you need one. And it’s great to have nice people around that you are glad to help when they need a hand.

    That’s hard to find, especially these days. And it’s a large part of what has kept me here for almost 20 years now.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts, Lori. It is indeed nice to have good neighbors. It’s nice to know connecting with one another isn’t dependent on being plugged into a computer or cell phone. Those things definitely have their purpose, but person to person contact is so important for survival, day to day and for the future.

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