“On this International Day of Friendship, let us strengthen bonds among individuals and generate greater respect and understanding in our world.”
– U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Tuesday 30 July is International Friendship Day.
Our world faces many challenges — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples.
To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.
Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.
But why is friendship important in our day-to-day lives?
As it turns out, a sense of social belonging is as important as water, food and shelter. To know there are people who care about us and who will help to get us through life’s challenges gives us an enormous sense of security. Friends also help to shape our sense of identity and purpose.
Here are just some of the many ways that friendships enrich our lives.
Friends Help us Interact with Others
Our friends show us how to forgive, laugh, and make conversation. The basic components of any relationship are all founded in friendship. We learn how to interact with people because of our friends, even the ones that are opposite from us or share a different worldview. We don’t just talk with others but learn from them. Friends help to push us outside our comfort zones, while still providing a safe emotional space for us to be ourselves.
Friends Help to Keep Us Physically & Mentally Strong
Friendship helps to keep our minds and bodies strong. A recent Harvard study concluded that having solid friendships helps to promote brain health. Friends helps us deal with stress, make better lifestyle choices, and allow us to rebound from illness more quickly. The study also found that spending time with positive friends changes our outlook and makes us happier more often.
Friends Help Us Through Challenges
Strong friendships are important in helping us get through difficult times in our lives. We learn how to accept kindness and to reach out when we need help. Friends help us to learn more about ourselves and how important it is to have people who know and understand you.
Friends Improve the Quality of Our Lives
Our friends help to inject greater meaning into our lives. In spending time with friends, we fill our lives with happiness, genuine caring and support, and fun. When we go through challenges, friendships help us to put things into perspective. When we experience success, they celebrate it with us. Having positive people in our own lives helps us to express gratitude for what we have, and makes us more inclined to share happiness and kindness with others.