Friends for Life | Sunday Observer

Friends for Life

 

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Remember the first day you went to school ? Do you remember a lot of strange faces staring at you ? But a few weeks later, you would have made friends with many of them. Perhaps one of them even became your 'best friend'. Throughout life, we have friends. Some friends come and go, but a few will stick on for decades. In fact, a true friend should be by your side when you are down, not when you are happy. That is the true test of friendship.

Tomorrow, the world is celebrating the International Friendship Day. The day has been celebrated in several South American countries for many years, particularly in Paraguay, where the first World Friendship Day was proposed in 1958.

This idea was later accepted by the United Nations, which proclaimed July 30 as the International Friendship Day.

Whether young or old, we all need friends. A true friend is hard to find, just like a gem, but if you do find one, it is a miracle. They make our lives better and brighter every day. Friends share meals, outings, joy, and yes, grief. Many songs and poems have been written about friends and friendship. Do listen to the Dianne Warwick song, "That’s What Friends are For” to get an idea of what a friend should be: “Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on me, for sure, That's what friends are for, For good times and bad times, I'll be on your side forever more. That's what friends are for”.

We meet friends at every stage of our life – kindergarten, school, university, job. Whatever the place, the best way to find a good friend is to be one yourself. Remember, you cannot make friends by not talking to anyone. Smile and talk with the new faces in your class and you will find a few good friends soon enough.

Friendship does not recognize any man-made boundaries such as religion, community or nationality. Indeed, some of you might be communicating with 'Pen Pals' who live thousands of kilometres away. Some of our school friends might also migrate to other countries, but with today’s technologies such as Viber, Skype and What’s App it is very easy to keep in touch. A true friend will call you once a while and ask you 'what’s up' anyway.

Social media such as Facebook have given a new meaning to the word 'friends'. Some people on Facebook have more than 500 friends, which is clearly impossible. The real joy lies in meeting your friends face to face, not via the Internet.

Good friends help and protect each other and come together in moments of sadness. Make sure that you have time for friends – and for friendship – despite your studies, family commitments and other work. Yes, there are occasions when we fall out with friends, sometimes for the silliest of reasons, but it is much easier to live with a friend than with an enemy.

So try not to get angry with your friends in the first place. Be nice to the world and the world will be nice to you. A good friend may be hard to come by, but it is a bond that you should cherish for life.

 

“The greatest gift of life is friendship”

- Hubert H Humprey

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