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Thank you for Being A Friend

Andrew Gold wrote the lyrics for the Golden Girls television series. “Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant”. The theme song is befitting for this month's topic, International Day of Friendship.

International Day of Friendship was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (U.N.). On July 30, we take a step back and give thanks for these connections around the world because they support and foster peace, joy, and harmony. Governments, community organizations, and other organizations are urged by the U.N. to plan activities and events that honor the strong friendships that we cherish. Numerous gatherings emphasize making amends, building consensus and understanding, and finding solace in the bonds that make you feel at home.

This day is dedicated to respecting, inclusivity, and diversity. The day is heavily focused on inclusivity. The goal of the International Day of Friendship is to accept those who may seem different from us and involve everyone. On July 30, the world celebrates friendship by celebrating friends that feel like family, close pals, and even adversaries. Our world is challenging. Prioritizing peace appears to have less of a presence in the global community as a result of misunderstandings, abuse, lack of trust, discrimination, and cultural conflict. There is really no excuse for the world not to exist in some peaceful manner. We should all be grateful to the UN for helping to bring awareness to the fact that there is some good in the world.

The International Day of Friendship was first celebrated in 2011; on this unique day, friendships are forged across nations, cultures, and even beliefs. Building those connections

and friendships goes beyond simply having something in common with someone else or a group of people in terms of traits, characteristics, or interests. It also involves encouraging a worldwide commitment to and knowledge of diversity and inclusion. We can discover common ground despite our differences. People should not be divided because of differences in appearance, attitudes, politics, interests, music, reproductive rights, or other factors. Relationships are more important than that, and every July the UN seeks to spread generosity and camaraderie.

Commonalities can be found by celebrating friendships through small gestures like a quick note, a coffee date, attending a concert, face timing, or going shopping. Once more, we are more alike than we all think. We also aim to disseminate any ideas that reduce the amount of hatred and contempt that is spread around the world. We want to believe that there is something that unites us all.

The World Friendship Crusade, an international civil group that works to promote peaceful culture through friendship, suggested the first World Friendship Day in 1958 before the U.N. officially recognized it. However, Hallmark first launched friendship greeting cards in the 1930s, and to this day, many people, including me, celebrate their special connections with a card or note. The International Day of Friendship was established by the U.N. in 2011, and communities all around the world are encouraged to celebrate and commemorate it.

On International Day of Friendship, we honor and celebrate, the friends who stand by us, correct us when we're being stubborn, give up their time for us while everyone else is preoccupied with adulting, visit us in the middle of the night to lift our spirits, and even the long-distance friends whose friendship has endured across borders.

As I write this, I'm reflecting on my own friendships. I've had the same friends for nearly 30 years, and I will always value our friendship. Every person's definition of friendship is unique, as is the nature of the friendship bond. People we have known for a long time might not be close to us, yet we might regard someone we have only recently met as our best friend. It means a lot to me to have both in my life.

There are simple ways to observe the holiday, such as hanging out with friends and doing what you enjoy, as well as more complex ones, such as throwing parties, exchanging gifts, and telling people how much they mean to us. Reaching out and making contact with people we haven't seen in a while is another custom on International Day of Friendship. Since conversations are the foundation of all friendships, you might want to be receptive to making new friends as well.

Use this opportunity to send someone a sincere note on the spur of the moment, or go out to lunch with friends to catch up as a way to celebrate. The majority of us interact with people on a daily basis, and we can't think of a better way to connect than to celebrate this day by being among the individuals we interact with most frequently. Enjoy the month and strengthen your existing relationships, but don't be hesitant to strike up new ones as well. As always, I am wishing you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.

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