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A Fundamental Human Need

bigstock-142811150As odd as it sounds, survival in life parallels survival in wartime. World War II, to this day, maintains its place as the most popular war in American history — as well it should.

An argument can be made that the Vietnam War should not have been fought. An argument can be made that the Iraq War should not have been fought.  

But, even the most passionate of anti-war advocates will agree that World War II was a war that had to be fought. This was a war for survival. The attack on Pearl Harbor aside, the United States had no choice but to enter the war. To avoid fighting meant Adolf Hitler’s plan for capturing the world was all but a certainty.

“It’s a fundamental human need, John!”

During one of the most depressing and desperate periods of my life, I did what quite a few people do, especially in college towns. I sought the need of low-cost counseling, by professionally seeing a student of psychology at a major Midwestern university’s psychological clinic.

Also, as many depressed people do, I tried to deal with my situation in life by avoiding and even disconnecting from relationships in my life.

Among many other problems, I was dealing with the inevitable loss of my job at the time. As important as having a job is in life, however, I told my therapist that a good part of my depression was stemming from something else — lack of human contact and more specifically my self-imposed exile from old friends.

When I told him that I was in fact just as depressed by not having people in my life as I was in not having a stable job, my therapist taught me an important lifelong lesson in two sentences:  

“It’s a fundamental human need, John! People need people!”

Parallels with World War II

If you’re facing poverty and are alone, then you’re fighting your own “war for survival.” Having allies can do nothing but help you.  

Just as in World War II, those brave nations that stood up to a worldwide Nazi takeover recognized this fundamental human need — that people need people.

These nations found not friends, as it were, but allies. Heck, they even called themselves “The Allies”.

When the United States was bombed at Pearl Harbor, nations such as Canada immediately declared war on Japan, as a staple of its alliance with our nation.  Less than four years later, when Allied victory in World War II was all but assured, the Allies met to piece together the Potsdam Declaration — an ultimatum to the Japanese government to either surrender immediately or face total destruction.

Indeed, much can be accomplished, by finding allies.

Imagine…It’s Easy If You Try

Now, I’ll come straight to the point and give my advice. If you’re ever at a point in life where you have no immediate family living nearby, little money, and no career prospects, simply imagine that you’re not a person but rather a sovereign nation fighting a war.

Sure, this sounds like an insane exercise — imagining that you’re a wartime nation and not a person.  

If you conduct this exercise, though, I guarantee that you’ll not only meet people that are willing to help you but you will be allowed to take your mind off of what’s happening in reality — that you’re a person on the brink of destitution and isolation.

This is what you need to do, simply put. Find friends and, internally, call them “allies in your own war for survival.”

A Fundamental Human Need

John Ellis

John Ellis is a software engineer, blogger, and entrepreneur residing in Tustin, California. John's family consists of his wife, Terry, and their two foster babies - Sam and Maya. John graduated from Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina with a bachelor's degree in Accounting. He has worked for many reputable CPA and business software solution firms, across the country. In his spare time, John loves walking with his wife and kids, studying American history, and keeping up with comic book and science fiction franchises. John, of course, enjoys blogging about therapy and hopes that his readers learn valuable life lessons from reading his blogs. John welcomes his readers to contact him at

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APA Reference
Ellis, J. (2018). A Fundamental Human Need. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 5 Jan 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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