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.
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!
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
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?