Friendship Day: Friends matter
Friendship Day is coming up,” remarked Novira.
“Yes it is, but what is the use of it anyway?” Ishaal was unenthusiastic about it. “First Sunday of every August was designated as Friendship Day by some US Congressman back in 1935 and the rest of the world was made to follow it.”
“Now it is not like that,” I joined in the conversation that my friends were having at the school canteen. “Nobody forces anyone to celebrate this day. It is just that the idea of Friendship Day became popular around the world and more and more people started celebrating it.”
“But why designate a single day for friends and forget about them for the rest of the year?” Ishaal was defiant.
“Now that is a very bad way of looking at it,” remarked Raamis. “This day is all about giving a thought to the importance of friends in our lives; and understanding the true meaning of friendship and being a true friend.”
“And then it gives friends another chance to appreciate one another for the role they play in each other’s life,” Nile supported Raamis.
“Alright then! Let’s see what friendship means to each one of us. Why don’t we just tell each other about what friendship and being a good friend truly means to us?” Ishaal was really pumped up.
“Sure! It’s a good idea. So I will start,” said Raamis. “For me, friendship means being in a relationship, with like-minded people, that is based on mutual affection, care, co-operation and trust predominantly. This relationship is well beyond the bounds of social status or wealth, as two people belonging to different economic backgrounds can be very good friends. In fact, people of different cultures separated by geographical boundaries can be very good friends nowadays.
“Likewise, friendship may well exist between two people irrespective of the age or gender difference between them.
“Friendship is just like money in your bank account; it means your friend can bank/depend upon you, in moments of despair without the fear of getting hurt or loss of your trust. It also means being cared for, loved and respected. Friendship is a blessing for us all and a friend is the medium through which this blessing flows.
“Hence a friend’s company and the relationship involved are like food to our soul. In the words of Aristotle, ‘What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies’,” Raamis concluded.
Novira joined in, “A true friend is someone whom you can trust completely and who would care for you unconditionally.
He/she would be there for you whenever you need him/her, providing you support in everything you share with him/her. That person divides your sorrows and multiplies your joys. Your friend keeps your secrets and gives you sincere advice. A friend stops you from doing anything damaging or wrong, and tries to put you on the right track in every aspect of your life. A friend motivates you to succeed in anything you are involved in and provides help and support in this regard.
“A friend helps you and your abilities to grow. In the words of Anais Nin, ‘Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born’.”
“In my opinion, a friend also helps you know yourself better,” Alvina commented. “It is wisely said that a man is known by the company he keeps because friends are like mirrors. By looking at them, you can see your own reflection and by knowing them, you can know more about yourself. And above all, when with a friend, we can be what we really are and share all our interests and heart-felt things.
“With a friend we don’t have to pretend or be diplomatic as we know each other inside out. Apart from that, research shows that having good friends increases the likelihood of a person being happy. So we should always value such friends and take care never to hurt them or lose them. A wise person once said: ‘Friendship is a living thing that lasts only as long as it is nourished with kindness, empathy and understanding.’
“It is important to not just expect good things from friends but to also be a good friend. Whatever it is that you want from your true friends, you must learn to give it first in order to get it.”
“But I hope you guys would agree that one should take care when making friends. There are people who just pretend to be friends so as to take advantage of us or to harm us. One should always beware of such people,” Ishaal stated and
we all agreed.
Then it was Niel’s turn to join the conversation. “Friendship Day gives us a chance to celebrate and we can do it in a number of ways,” he said.
“We can send greeting cards to our friends; and give them yellow roses and simple gifts like wrist bands, bracelets, chocolates, stuffed toys, photo frame carrying photo of friends together, etc. We can write poems to show what they truly mean to us. We also can arrange a get-together at somebody’s home to have fun. This can even take the form of a picnic. In short we can do a lot of things to celebrate Friendship Day.”
This day also gives us a chance to make up with friends with whom we have developed some differences for some reason,” Niel added. “We can try to patch things up with them. And we can also get in touch with our old friends whom we are not in contact with for some time. And then we can also go ahead and get to know more people around us, make new friends and expand our social circle,” Niel concluded.
“All these are great ways of celebrating Friendship Day, Niel,” I commented. “And for my part, I will be doing something extra special. I will make sure that at least thousands of kids like us get to know about us friends and the conversation we just had.”
“And how do you plan to do that?” Ishaal said sarcastically.
“Well for that, you guys just have to wait and see!” I said with a smile.