On 27 April 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations officially declared 30 July as International Friendship Day; a day to celebrate camaraderie and strengthen ties between individuals in order to “generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.”
Friendship is an important part of life at any age, positively contributing to our mental and physical health and happiness. Unfortunately, it is easy to lose track of this as we age, letting friendships fade while prioritizing other aspects of life.
For Friendship Day, think back to your first friend, do you remember how you met? What drew you together? Surely there were ups and downs, fun times and disagreements, but in the end you always had each other’s best interests at heart. That is true friendship, the ability to support and nurture each other, to be able to tell each other the hard truth (respectfully, of course) and share in each other’s achievements and disappointments.
This kind of trust and support makes us feel loved, important and happy; and when we are happy with ourselves, it’s easier to be happy for others. That is why we are asking people of all ages to take time to celebrate the friends in their life on July 30, with a phone call, hand written notes, a get together or social media post.
Reconnect with friends you haven’t seen or talked to in years, tell those you see regularly you appreciate them, and commit to activities that will increase your social circles, drawing more people together.
The world is a big place, and while quality of friends is the most important, there is something to be said for having a variety of friendships as well. The more people you connect with, the more opportunity you have to get out, try new things and keep an active social life.