On the last Saturday in July, lyrics to one of Joe Cocker’s most famous songs will ring true to millions of people. The Englishman covered a Beatles’ song in the late 1960s, the lyrics of note being:
“I get by with a little help from my friends. All I need is my buddies…”
It’s this concise but sincere sentiment that is realised throughout the world as we celebrate World Friendship Day on the 30th July.
This most agreeable of days was first introduced by the UN in 2011. It promotes global societies to observe the day, encouraging interaction with different communities and to appreciate the true value of friendship.
In short, the day is a celebration of our friends – as well as people who you’d like to be more friendly with. Friends can appear out of nowhere, be it a chance encounter or a one-off planned meeting. The bond a friendship can have is one of strongest there is humanity, but it can so often be taken for granted (“Why haven’t I been in touch with Sophie for soooooo long?”). We live in a hectic world, and it really is easy to lose touch of those you care about – especially living in larger cities.
So, World Friendship Day is the perfect time to rekindle lost friendships with people that matter. Even a quick “hello” on social media, or a phone call to see how your friends are. A small gesture goes a long way!
Friends are as important as anyone. They can be a comfort – a personal solace, if you like – a shoulder to cry on, a companion to share the best times of your life, a person with which to spend quality time, a person to share interests and hobbies, a person to trust and respect. Friends are not a God-given right, but are based on joint values and mutual admiration. Important? You bet they are!
We’ve heard from lots of our models that they make friends whilst on assignment. We hope this continues. That said, models can work with other models and get on like a house on fire, although true friendships may never blossom. Acting and modelling is a profession after all, whether full- or part-time. We know who our real friends are through experience, and it’s those that mean the most.
Without getting too bogged down with stats, here are some facts from the UN that we should keep in mind about friendships:
- 9 months – the age at which babies start recognizing friendships.
- 22% – the percentage of people who live longer if they have a close friendship network.
- 36% – the percentage of people who quit a habit if their friends quit it too.
- 7 times – the likelihood of a person being more productive at work if their close friend works there too.
- 10–25 – the number of hours a week young adults spend socializing.
- 57% – the percentage of teens who make a close friend online.
World Friendship Day aims to include all, and embrace others from different cultures and backgrounds. And this year it falls on a Saturday, so there’s no excuse to tell your friends what they mean to you by going for a bite to eat, having a good old knees-up or simply arranging a brief meeting to say “hello”.
Use social media, but try and make it as personal as possible. Spend time sending individual messages, or go “old school” and send a card in the post, or a simple present that you know they’ll love receiving.
If you’re having a tough time, try reaching out to new people at social events or community centres. Your new friend could simply be just “around the corner”, and that first meeting may end up being a lifelong friendship.
Now, that though alone is worth celebrating!
We wish everyone a happy World Friendship Day for the 30th July. Joe Cocker was right: sometimes, all you need are your buddies.