I’m writing about the four big lessons I learned while watching The Lord of the Rings movies. The first lesson was to live every day as if it were my last. This philosophy has to be, of course, tempered by the general good chance that the current day will not actually be the last one I spend on Earth.
The second lesson I gleaned is much more obvious in the movie: friends who really love you are priceless.
Where would Frodo have ended up if Sam hadn’t been so persistent in keeping them moving? If he hadn’t suspected that Smeagol was up to no good, and kept a careful eye on him? If he had given up when he thought the giant spider, Shebol, had killed Frodo? If he hadn’t carried Frodo the last several yards to the top of Mount Doom?
For a long time, it doesn’t seem that Merry and Pippin are going to be much good to the cause. But by the end, they are willing to lay down their lives if it means helping Frodo succeed with his mission. Then there’s the fact that Merry, being more down-to-earth than Pippin, does his best to keep the younger Hobbit out of scrapes. However, near the end you see how the tables have turned when Pippin spends hours out on the battlefield, picking his way through dead bodies, to find Merry.
Elves and dwarves are supposed to be mortal enemies, at least according to Tolkein. But Legolas and Gimly are fast friends by the end, watching each other’s back. I probably should be saying something about Aragon, but I’m not sure how much he is motivated by friendship than by duty. He knew that if they didn’t fight off the Orcs and other bad guys, that Evil would get the upper hand before Frodo had a chance to fulfill his mission.
Then again, Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for a friend.”
Aragon, not to mention all of the main characters, are definitely ready to sacrifice their own lives to help each other, at least by the end of the story if not before.
So, there you go. Friends who really love you are priceless. They could, one day, save your life.