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Happy Friendship Day

Disney's adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc....Image via Wikipedia
A U.N. Ambassador of Friendship
To my friends, both near and far and old and new, I wish you a very Happy Friendship day. For those of you with little knowledge of the history surrounding the day (including me), Wikipedia provides the following:
 “Friendship Day was originally promoted by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1919, and intended on first sunday of august to be a day where people celebrated their friendships by sending cards. The first Sunday in August was chosen as the centre of the largest lull in holiday celebrations. Friendship Day was promoted by the greetings card National Association during the 1920s but met with consumer resistance – given that it was rather too obviously a commercial gimmick to promote greetings cards. By the 1940s the number of Friendship Day cards available in the US had dwindled and the holiday largely died out there…. Today, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated in a number of countries across the world.  In honor of Friendship Day in 1998, Nane Annan, wife of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations. The event was co-sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information and Disney Enterprises, and was co-hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford.” http://j.mp/ogR6ra
The question becomes, what is a “friend?” I believe that the meaning of the word “friend” is a subjective one and subject to interpretation. Some people are “friends” with everyone that they meet, and as Aristotle notes “a friend to all is a friend to none.”  On the other hand, for others, a friendship is a close, personal relationship that is based on, among other things, trust, acceptance and love.  For these people, the word “friend” is not used loosely, as it is, with the exception of family, their most essential relationship. I fall into the latter group, and as a surprise, even to me, I’ve discovered that a genuine friendship can also be fostered between those with whom I’ve never even met face to face.  

No one will argue that the internet provides us an opportunity to maintain and foster our relationship with family and friends.  Yet, it also serves as a forum to meet other like-minded individuals, and to form relationships. Through both e-courses, as well as social communities, I have been fortunate to meet people with whom I otherwise would never have met, and in some cases, I enjoy genuine budding friendships.  

Ideally, our friends should be celebrated every day and not on a designated day of the year.  
Celebrated in what way, you may ask? A gift, a card, or flowers? Of course, those are all well and good, but I suspect that a heartfelt “thank you for being my friend,” would be more memorable and appreciated. 

To my friends: You are a blessing to me and I love you and thank you for being, and oh yes, thank you for being my friend.

Blessings and love, lydia
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