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Happy Friendship Day: Friends forever

Happy Friendship Day: Friends forever

The other day I traced an old friend of mine on Facebook. He had shifted to another city and we had grown apart. As I called him and caught up on his life, shared old memories and laughed at old jokes, I discovered what I had missed.

I wondered if my lack of effort in keeping contact with him was really worth it as I had a wonderful time talking to him. I talk to him on regular basis now and plan to visit him some time soon.

We, as humans, are social animals by nature. Once our needs of food, clothing and resting are met, our next need of connection with people takes over. We all want to be heard, seen and appreciated in one way or the other. And preferably, we need to be in the company of like-minded people. These are the people with whom we can share and talk about things while being on the same mental page as them.

Often our best friends have the same traditions, background, personality and attitude towards life as we do. Our sense of belonging comes from being with them. And the key to being relaxed and refreshed is spending time with our friends.

Ali, an acquaintance of mine, endorses this aspect completely. Being studious, he didn’t go out much with his friends. But now he has changed in this regard, he has found that being with friends is one of the best times he spends. This is because one can be oneself in the company of friend and at total ease about how to behave and react about things.

Friendship is also the key to strengthening family relationships. Many a times being friends with your siblings, parents, cousin, etc. makes that relationship even stronger.

Friends are also our helping hands in our times of need or whenever we are in trouble. It is rightly said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

A day before her final exams, my neighbour accidentally lost her study notes and textbooks. She told her friend about her problem and her friend invited her over for joint study/ revision session and gladly shared her study material. Without her friend’s help, my neighbour would probably have failed the exam.

In a world driven increasingly by social media and technology, friends are becoming important for one reason or the other. On one hand we can stay in constant touch with friends thanks to the technology and social media sites. But on the other hand we are missing out on being actually with friends physically and/or in person. It is arguable whether being in contact with your friends all the time through technology and social media can really be called as being with friends. It is also contentious that someone we know just by social media, like Facebook, can really be called a real friend (as opposed to a virtual friend).

There are also people who pretend to be ‘true’ friends, but are not there for us in our times of need. They are more like fair weather friends who choose to be by our side only when it suits them and things are going well for us. Be on your guard about who you take as your true friend as he/she may well fall into the aforementioned class of friends.

The coming Friendship Day, July 30, might not be a big deal for many, but still it gives a reason to show to our friends what they mean to us. A friendship card/gift, a get-together or just simply hanging out goes a long way in telling our friends how much we appreciate them. Also try contacting a friend or acquaintance whom you have not been in touch with for some time. You will be pleasantly surprised by how good you will feel by making the contact.

It is also important to stress that it always pays to socialise and increase our social circle. The best way to have more friends is to be genuinely friendly to people. Socialising is an important need for us but to have a healthy social life we need to be moderate and not let it distract us from our responsibility towards our studies and family.

Friends can have a positive influence on us if we choose friends wisely — those who hold good values, are involved in constructive activates and who are no selfish. But if your friends are distracting you from your aims or are urging you to get involved in things that your parents don’t approve of, it is time to part ways with them.

And don’t worry, there are many people out there who can be excellent friends, the kind who will be there with you through thick and thin, who will motivate you and help you achieve your dreams. You will meet them often, and when you do, cherish their friendship and be the kind of friend you want them to be.

Happy Friendship Day!

Published in Dawn, Young World July 29th, 2017

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