Friendships enhance and enrich our lives. Whether they arise from sharing a juice box during recess, a dorm room in college, or a cubicle and crazy boss, life is kinder, gentler, more interesting and more fun when you don’t go it alone. Today is International Day of Friendship, so it’s time to gather those juice box-sharing friends of yours around you and celebrate what it means to have these important people in your life.
This beautiful day started in 2011, when the United Nations declared that every July 30th the global community could join together to highlight the “noble and valuable sentiment” of friendship. A day like this allows us to draw attention to how friendships can encourage cross-cultural tolerance and encourage a stronger culture of peace. When you find friends you can depend on, you can overcome any barrier that stands in your way.
While the obvious way to celebrate the International Day of Friendship is to spend time with friends, there are a few important ways you can show true international friendship the way the UN intended – by furthering your own understanding of other world cultures and encouraging others to do the same. Try the ideas listed below and make the world a friendlier place!
- Forge a friendship with a foreigner. Maybe you always wanted a pen pal as a kid? Now act on that dream! While you can go to a site like PenPalWorld.com, you can also combine this while practicing a foreign language. Sites like Livemocha allow you to connect with native speakers around the world, so you can learn about someone else’s life experience – you may be surprised by how similar we really are! Or if you are lucky enough to be in a city with a “portal” you could find yourself swapping dating stories with someone in Havana or exchanging recipes with someone from Tehran!
- Spread the love by taking action for someone else. Ask your friends to join you in making a difference around the world. Head to a local food bank, or just pull up the ONE website and make an impact right here, right now. By signing our petition on ending global poverty you could help someone spend more time with friends and less time worrying how to feed their children. There are so many ways to help out, so use the International Day of Friendship as an excuse to get started today!
- Show off your friendship to the world! Years ago you might have made a friendship bracelet while sitting around a campfire at summer camp. If you’re not feeling crafty, show a friend you care and buy matching friendship bracelets from the ONE store – you will have a pretty reminder of your friendship every time you glance at your wrist and you will be supporting the Ethiopian women artisans who make the bracelets!