Be a friend

All goes well when you can work together in harmony

M Patricia O’Neill rsm

Photo courtesy of S.Theodore

The beauty of true friendships is that they transcend time, geography, age, ethnicity, gender, and the list goes on!

Since the inaugural International Friendship Day in 1958, we have committed one special day a year to recognising the value of our friendships, although we celebrate them each and every day by being a good friend to those around us. This year, International Friendship Day is on Sunday 5 August.

Friendship is such an important part of creating a strong, content community – after all, to be in whānaungatanga – right relationship – is to enhance the quality of human life. We are all interconnected living creatures and knowing that we belong is one of mercy’s gifts.

While we certainly don’t need one day of the year to remind us about the importance of friendship and being a good friend, here are some of the many ways you can let your friends know how much they mean to you this International Friendship Day, and every other day of the year.

  1. Go the extra mile: giving without the expectation of receiving is liberating. Beneficence can take practice, but it helps to foster resilient relationships where each party is giving their best for the most genuine reasons.
  2. Counsel the doubtful and comfort those in sorrow: being a good listener and encouraging others in their time of need is a special quality within friendship.
  3. Forgive all injuries: great friendships can survive anything. It can be easy to carry a grudge, but encourage and accept redemption, and when your emotions have led you astray, be willing to accept accountability. Bear wrongs patiently and give others and yourself the room to make mistakes.
  4. Be compassionate: being a true friend involves compassion – sharing, righting wrongs, being loyal to justice and sticking up for our friends – are all compassionate actions. Loyalty is such an essential quality to any friendship.
  5. Be happy for them: jealousy is an all-consuming emotion and leads to unhappiness. Celebrate your friends’ achievements and invite them to share in yours. Competition should only be with yourself and be gentle with your friends’ self-esteem.





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