What is particularly striking about his reconstruction and criticisms of the traditional account of friendship is that he finds it deficient not only by the light of his own Christian viewpoint; he also finds friendship deficient when judged from the perspective of its own self-proclaimed ethical foundations. Thus, Kierkegaard concludes that the reciprocity involved in friendship actually betrays its essential selfishness.

Despair is not for the living
but for those unable to rise and continue;
they are the only souls with a right to it.
It is an end where breath and strength and will
have vanished, leaving no way to persevere.
To sink into the abyss that is despair
is to suffer an existence far worse than death;
therefore, cling to its enemy, our ally-hope.
For life goes on,
and we must not live in despair.
We must not.

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