A Friendtastic Day!
August 4, 2013

A Friendtastic Day!

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle

This quote is possibly my favorite quote of all time because no relationship works unless its core is friendship…not partners, not family, not co-workers, nothing. All relationships rely on a level of friendship and trust. Sometimes those friendships are deep and bound, while other times they are simply an appreciation for someone else. Sometimes our friendships are intimate, a connection we do not want to live without, maybe could not live without. Other times, they are a brief, fleeting friendship. Regardless, today is the day to celebrate friendships.

Happy Friendship Day Everyone! According to the Friendship Day website, celebrations for friends happen every year on the first Sunday of August. Holiday Insights could not find any verifiable information about the origins of Friendship Day nor could the Friendship Day website. Both mentioned that the US Congress affirmed the first Sunday in August as Friendship Day in 1935, but neither could really prove that.

What this says to me is that it does not matter where or how this day of celebrating our friends came about, but what matters is that we recognize the importance of friendship. As I said earlier, I believe that all relationships begin as friends and stay bound and connected because of friendships. I love my life partner. He is my passion, my life, but we did not start with love. We started with friendship, and ultimately, what keeps us strong and honest is that friendship. We are each other’s best friends, a single soul dwelling in two bodies, as Aristotle said.

And my relationship with my mother and brothers has evolved beyond just family ties. I felt the same about my dad before he died. I love them deeply, but I choose to be with them because they are my friends. I am honored to have such friends. We are family by birth and friends by choice. What a wonderful development in our family dynamics.

For those in my life who came to me as friends, I cannot imagine my daily existence without their comfort, love, and acceptance. The few friends I have are my family. I value their opinions, ideas, and beliefs. I desire their company, and I love them. We don’t get to choose our birth families, but sometimes we are lucky enough to find family in friends. It is a wonderful thing.

Plus, I would be an emotional wreck sometimes if it wasn’t for my bestie.

Psychology Today listed 15 reasons we need friends in an article earlier this year. On this day of Friendship, let’s take a look at what they say:

  1. Friendfluence affects you in more ways than you realize.
  2. Friends can give you vital life skills.
  3. Childhood friendships start your learning process.
  4. Teen friendships shape your later romantic bonds.
  5. Friends can help you define your priorities.
  6. Having friends can help you get more friends.
  7. Close friends support you through thick and thin.
  8. Friends can make you miserable too.
  9. You’re less lonely when you have friends.
  10. Your online friends can steer your thoughts and behaviors.
  11. Friends matter to you, regardless of gender.
  12. Couple friendships can help your own relationship.
  13. Friends can give you a reality check.
  14. Banding together with friends can help you effect social change.
  15. Being a friend helps your friends.

Though I agree with all of these, I think that the most important reason to have and honor friendships is because we need each other. As C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Yes, all 15 of the above mentioned reasons are important, but it is the value of friendship, the single soul shared, that makes today a day worth celebration.

So, go forth and celebrate. Call your friends. Send emails. Grab lunch. Today is a day for friends worldwide. Happy Friendship Day All! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to call my bestie.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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