The International Day of Friendship

 

The world is filled with too much hatred, too much fighting and too much mistrust of others.

So reads the opening line from a website called Holiday Insights. They were writing about The International Day of Friendship, July 30,  calling it “an opportunity to stop, and to reverse, these worldwide problems.”

How timely, I thought, and put aside my thoughts for today’s blog in favor of giving a bit of promotion to this International Day of Friendship.

 

International-Day-of-Friendship
Thanks to tut2learn.com for the image.

 

If you click on the Holiday Insights link, here, you’ll also learn that their “recipe of the day” is lima bean salad. Sounds intriguing, but I digress.  Let’s get back to this International Day of Friendship.

The U.N. declared the day in 2011 as one “to promote friendship among peoples, cultures and countries. . . a time to encourage efforts towards peace, and to build bridges among different people. It is a day of respect for others, and a day to celebrate diversity.”

I will quickly add, it is not to be confused with Friendship Day — declared by the US Congress in 1935 and always the first Sunday in August — which, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s Day and the rest, is focused on those who fill those roles in our lives.

Yes, the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FRIENDSHIP is different.  The U. N. imagines people, groups, and governments holding events and activities on Saturday that promote mutual understanding and reconciliation.

As Holiday Insights states (bold face is mine):

On an individual level, use this day to promote friendship in big and small ways. You can begin by “extending an olive branch” to a sibling or a family member, a neighbor, or an old friend who we’ve had a falling out with. If we all try just a little the world will be a friendlier, more peaceful place.

How can you not embrace something like that?  Especially this year!

 

Thanks to perfectimprints.com for the image.
Thanks to perfectimprints.com for the image.

 

The International Day of Friendship is an important opportunity to confront the misunderstandings and distrust that underlie so many of the tensions and conflicts in today’s world. It is a reminder that human solidarity is essential to promoting lasting peace and fostering sustainable development. UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, 2013.

 

WinCalendar.com is another holiday website with some interesting and fun facts about this date, including this tidbit:

According to studies,
individuals with stronger social relationships
live longer.

So you see, it’s in your own self-interest to expand your range of friendships.

 

Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. Woodrow Wilson

If you’d like more information on celebrating this International Day of Friendship, visit the UN’s page on the holiday:   [http://www.un.org/en/events/friendshipday/]

Next week I hope to be back with my thoughts from the DNC. In the meantime, what can you do this Saturday to further friendship? 

 

 

7 Responses

  1. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    Thanks, Janet. I had no idea this was a thing, but I love the idea behind it. I’m not sure what I’ll do this Saturday in recognition of the day, but I hope to come up with something, not only for myself, but as a good opportunity to educate and share something meaningful with my girls (although they seem to understand the importance of human solidarity and cross-cultural understanding more than many adults).

    • Janet
      | Reply

      I look forward to hearing what you come up with, Tim. Post pics on your FB timeline? Speaking of pics, I see you’ve added your profile pic. Nice!

  2. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    Thank you for letting us know about this holiday. I would like to see an international cease-fire everywhere and friendship extended across borders and boundaries, but I suppose that is not likely to happen. I will have to think about this.

    • Janet
      | Reply

      Your comment about friendship across borders and cease-fire reminded me of my annual New Year’s eve post. Do you remember? It was the soldiers, under penalty of treason, who set down their guns on Christmas Eve and sang Silent Night together.

      Still brings tears to my eyes.

      Thanks for weighing in, Merril.

  3. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    I’ve read Tim’s and Merril’s comments and so agree.

    An International Day of Friendship calls to mind the value of travel, embracing other cultures.

    Cliff and I have used travel guru Rick Steves’ books to plan all of our foreign trips (except for Ukraine). He says travel is a positive political act because it fosters understanding, certainly an ingredient of friendship. Here’s another one of his quotes that is a propos: I travel around the world in a way that opens my mind and gives me empathy and inspires me to come home and make this world a better place.

    The Woodrow Wilson quote – a good one!

    • Janet
      | Reply

      Thank you! You have helped me make a decision about a trip to Cuba over New Years. I’d considered not going because I wasn’t going to see all the historic sights I wanted to see or visit in local homes. But I have a different perspective after reading your Rick Stevens’ quotes. Thank you, Marian.

      • Marian Beaman
        | Reply

        And my next job will be as a Chamber of Commerce publicist . . . 🙂

        Wow, Janet. Your proposed trip is only six months away now. Better get crackin’!

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