Today we are supposed to celebrate our friends all over the world. The first country in the world to suggest this was the US who began practicing it in 1919. The UN made it an international day in 2011, nearly 100 years later. When people suggest that the US is not friendly towards other countries they ought to look at history, though I know that’s not very popular today because everyone thinks the media tells the only history we need to know. The truth of the matter is, we are repeating history even now we are just too stupid to know it. So as you celebrate the International Day of Friendship just remember where it began.
How to celebrate – Contact a friend in another country. Make a friend in another country. Learn from history so you don’t make the same mistakes that were made before.
So much of the world is under siege by war, dictators and poverty that it would be nice to take a break and find a little time for kindness to each other. I think people generally want to be nice to each other, they want to help where they can and be positive forces for good. The problem comes from those few people that find chaos to work for them better than peace. It comes from the World Kindness Movement in 1996-97 and the day was developed into the Declaration of Kindness on November 13th, 1997. It is nice to proclaim a day like this, however making it work practically may be an entirely different matter. If we all practiced what we preached, the world would be a much different place. However, with that in mind, find some way today to go out of your way to be kind.
How to celebrate – Find different causes you can support. Perform an act of kindness. Embrace the World Kindness Movement.
You can never have too many friends. Some move away, some get mad and go away, some die, few do you keep for a lifetime. If you do have that sort of friend, do whatever you have to do to keep them. The biggest thing to remember is that to get a friend you have to be a friend. Be willing to give as much, or more than you receive.
Some times it’s hard for you to know who really is a friend and who isn’t until you need their friendship. So remember that the next time they need you. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” If you are lucky enough to have a life long friend, do what you have to do to keep them.
How to celebrate – Take your friend to lunch. find out if your friend needs anything before they have to ask. See if there are any new friends you can make today.
Today was created by Brian and Michael McCormack in an effort to show how much better the world could be if we all just stopped and said hello to each other. It was 1973 and war was raging between Egypt and Israel and the idea was “greet ten people for peace”.
I think, for what it’s worth, that saying hello to everyone you see is a great idea. It certainly doesn’t cost you much and who knows what you might find out about someone else, and yourself, by simply saying hello.
I watch most people walk around with their heads down, refusing to look up and make eye contact with another person. Maybe it’s because they said hello to someone, or looked someone int the eye and something went wrong. Or maybe we are afraid they might want something from us.
Take the handshake. It came out of ancient days when a friendship was forged with an enemy, or possible enemy. One would extend their hand showing they had no weapon in it, the other would do the same. Far too often today the handshake begins the problems. We look at the person we are shaking hands with as someone who should give their all for our cause… not just to show they aren’t going to try and kill us. Maybe we are looking for too much.
I wonder how many simple “hellos” might lead us to something more if we just tried. After all, every friend you have today started with a… “hello”.
How to celebrate – Say hello to at least ten people today. (Better strangers than friends you have already) Say hello to someone you haven’t talked to in years. Learn “hello” in several languages and great people with their native language.
We all know one, sometimes we are even one ourselves, sometimes it just happens and we can’t change it… or can we? Perhaps we can turn the day around for someone who has gotten out of the wrong side of the bed in the morning and are grouchy.
There are those who are just grumpy by nature. Nothing ever seems to get them out of their mood. You may be better off leaving them alone, or if you try and fail, don’t press it. But for most grouches it’s just a day thing that even they would change if they could.
Just the basic act of human kindness may change their mood entirely! And remember, a simple act of thoughtfulness may some day be returned when you need it most. There are times when people don’t even realize they are being a grouch and simply letting them know that they are a bit grumpy can change their day.
Just remember what goes around, comes around. So today you aren’t grumpy, but maybe tomorrow you will be. Try and treat all as you would want them to treat you. So do a grouch a favor today because tomorrow they may be your friend.
How to celebrate – Don’t go looking for a grouch but if you find one, try and create a smile for them. If you think you are being a grouch, try and bring yourself out of it before you ruin someone else’s day. Realize most grouches have a reason for being a grouch.
We all strive to have at least one friend that we can rely on, talk to, and share things with, hopefully offering the same in return to them. Friendship does not see colors, creed, or religion… it sees a human being, or animal, standing in front of us. It is up to us to determine what we do with that.
There is an old saying that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Maybe the place to start making friends is with your family. At least you have something in common with them to start with. Actually, if you think about people in general, we have a lot in common with each other. More in common than the differences that separate us.
The United Nations sponsors International Friendship Day, though it has been celebrated in the US since 1919 indirectly. The first country to officially celebrate the day is Paraguay, on July 30th, 1958. While their efforts often fall short of what might be expected, at least they try.
It takes so little to be a friend to anyone, including animals, and so much to be an enemy. I often wonder if dictators and world leaders had been treated differently as children if they might not be so into themselves that they might even be decent people. We may never know since they spend all their lives not trusting anyone. And a friend does have to be trusted.
It’s time we started looking for friends in life instead of creating enemies. I’m not saying you need to love everybody, that’s not practical, you just need to like them a little.
How to celebrate – Make a friend today. Contact a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time. Figure out what you can do to make yourself a better friend.