The first Sunday in August has been designated as International Friendship Day. That is unless you follow those who think the day is on July 30.
At different times over the years, the United Nations has named both days as Friendship Day.
At this point, in 2018, the consensus seems to be the first Sunday in August is officially the day to celebrate your friendships. Now if you’re really smart, and most of us Boomers are, you’d be celebrating your friends every day rather than just once a year.
Our lives may depend on it.
The UN thinking when it created this day was that by making friends with more people, there would be less chance of injustice, war, poverty, misunderstanding, jealousies and other such problems.
Trust and camaraderie could develop, causing a fundamental shift in how countries and cultures interact.
All that’s probably true – good reasons to be cognizant of our friendships. But it’s more personal.
Friends are important. They help us live longer and live better. Studies have proven that people with friends are happier and happy people are healthier.
Friendships help us experience less stress and support us in reaching our fitness goals. They also help lower our risk of dementia.
As our parents always told us, we need to choose our friendships carefully. The quality matters much more than the quantity.
Our friendships need to be with people who are loyal, straightforward, authentic and reliable. We want friends who will listen to us and help us navigate the rough seas that inevitably come.
Our really good friends will tell us the truth, even when we would rather be in denial. They encourage us when we’re down and lend a helping hand when we need it.
And we do the same for them.
These are the friendships we want. These are the friendships we nurture and celebrate on Friendship Day and every day.
On special designated days like this, people generally send cards or gifts. It's certainly not a requirement - any kind of recognition would work. Phone calls are nice, or an email, even a quick pop-in visit.
Or chocolate - that's always a winner!
We just definitely don't want to take our friendships for granted. If not on this designated day, soon. As much as possible, we should let our friends know they are special.
Friendships do take time and energy. And they are worth all of it.