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Reflections on friendship, part 1: The importance of friends


“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” — Aristotle

National Friendship Day was adopted by the United States Congress in 1935 and is celebrated the first Sunday in August. Some sources claim the observance was founded by Joyce Clyde Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, in either 1919 or 1930. Regardless of how it originated, today this day is celebrated in many countries by sending greeting cards to friends. In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship.

Friendship is a gift that can be celebrated on a daily basis and consists of hard work, trust, fun and love. True friends have some of the strongest bonds. True friends are there for each other in good times and bad times. Friendship is important not only because of these positive bonds but also because friends hold each other accountable. They offer advice and honesty in some of the toughest circumstances.

Some friendships begin in childhood and last throughout life. It is common to have a vast amount of friends as a child and fewer as an adult. When people get married and have children, they often have less time for their friends. In addition, as people mature, their values become stronger and they become pickier about the types of people they hang out with. They look for friends with mutual interests and values. Although friendships may become more complicated and people might have less time for them as they age, nurturing these relationships also becomes more important. Research shows that having friends can impact the health and well-being of the elderly. Growing old with friends is also special. From high school parties, weddings and baby showers, to grand parenting, sharing life’s events with friends is one of the greatest benefits of friendships.

Although maintaining a true and strong friendship takes effort and dedication, it is worth it to have a close group of friends with whom to share sorrows, happiness, meals and stories. It is important to keep in mind that friends are important and they should be treasured. One day a year to represent friendship is not enough. Friendship should be celebrated every day of the year.

Sovereign Health Group recognizes the importance of friendships in addiction recovery. If you or someone you know struggles with addiction, read more articles in this friendship series and contact 855-683-9756.

Written by Kristen Fuller, M.D., Sovereign Health Group writer

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