Celebrate International Friendship Day

By Jill Brooke

It’s International Friendship Day.

As we know, friends are one of the most treasured gifts of life. And we’re missing many of our friends we can’t see in person since they live in other states and countries.

The International Day of Friendship was created in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

“Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples,” the organizers wrote. “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.”

We love this message and idea. In fact, I had a gathering at my home with a few of my besties celebrating friendship and being civic-minded.

We had some socially distancing giggles and floral-infused cocktails.

The discussion of course was about ways to navigate life right now and not despair.  How to help others. How to wiggle our toes in other people’s shoes.  Also, how can we see each other and be safe?

It feels sometimes like I am playing a form of Russian roulette. I only see a few friends outdoors because my friends feed my soul. And of course, we wear masks whenever we go out or to a store. And I never socialize indoors.

My dear friend Caroline shared how she read about how we can discuss what we are grateful for by creating an image of an invisible backpack we are carrying.

“What’s in yours and what are you just grateful for,” she asked. “What advantages have you had?”

It is a wonderful exercise. Try it. And then try to think how others live and how they have been shaped and what you have in common.

I value the diversity of my friendships and how the criteria are a loving heart and a curious mind to be part of my posse. We can also agree to disagree knowing that the opinion has facts behind it. One should always be open to learning, don’t you think?

In the spirit of friendship, my friend Allison brought this lovely white rose bouquet.

After all white roses are the symbol of friendship and joy.

Perhaps you may want to think of some of your friends who you miss seeing and maybe send them a white rose image or a white rose featured in a painting to let them know you are thinking of them. Or think of someone you may want to learn from or know better.

No act of love is ever wasted.