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The countdown is on to National Friendship Day

Dear readers, the most exciting day of the year is approaching in 21 days – National Friendship Day, Wednesday, November 27. I invite you to mark this on your calendar. Individuals as well as businesses are invited to participate in a grand way on that day. National Friendship Day is on the fourth Wednesday of each year.

Let me remind you why we have a Friendship Day in The Bahamas. National Friendship Day is designed to rekindle or cultivate and inspire long-term friendship relationships among the citizens and residents of The Bahamas. It is another avenue to rejuvenate a spirit of togetherness, respect for one another, unity and a healthy national pride. The goal is to develop in each individual the responsibility to restore and keep The Bahamas a friendly nation.

I invite all businesses to do something different with their customers on that day. Offer a friendship day discount on all, or certain items. Give away something. Offer a cool bottle of water. Make sure each customer service representative is especially friendly and welcoming on that day.

More importantly, let everyone utilize this day as a reminder that everyone in our nation, including migrant Haitians, are deserving of kindness, respect, and honor. Go out of your way to show friendliness to everyone.

National Friendship Day is also a time you may seek to strengthen an existing friendship relationship or start a new relationship by doing one of the following:

• Write a letter to a friend.

• Purchase a friendship card for a friend.

• Invite a friend for a meal in your home.

• Invite neighbors to watch a movie together with you.

• Invite a neighbor to your home.

• Visit the neighbors next door and share something with them.

• Call a friend.

• Email a friend.

We boast of being a friendly people, but in truth, we have lost the warmth and the special touch of being friendly to others. We must change this. This is why we have friendship day. We need to start by being friendly to our own people. We need to be friendly to our neighbors, fellow church members, social club members, co-workers, etc. When we sincerely seek to do that, we can begin to make a difference in our communities and our country.

Even if we only tried to connect with someone with common interests, values, similar history, that would make a big difference in our communities.

How can one attract friends? I think Dr. Alex Lickerman puts it very clearly in his article “The True Meaning Of Friendship.” He quotes from Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Dr. Lickerman continues: “Be the friend you want to have. We all tend to attract people into our lives whose character mirrors our own. You don’t have to make yourself into what you think others would find attractive. No matter what your areas of interest, others share them somewhere. Simply make yourself a big target. Join social clubs organized around activities you enjoy. Leverage the Internet to find people of like mind. Take action.”

Here is our national friendship pledge:

Driven by the spirit of friendship for my family, neighborhood and country,

I pledge: My outstretched hands to serve and protect you. My attentive ears to care and listen to you. My winsome smiles to cheer and warm you. My rightly spoken words to inform and guide you. My time, efforts and motives to do to you as I would have you do to me; So together, under God we remain one people, united.

Let’s be friendly to everyone on that day.

• Barrington Brennen is a counseling psychologist and marriage and family therapist. Send your questions to question@soencouragment.org or call 242-327-1980 or visit www.soencouragement.org.

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