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The twenty-first century world largely lives inside a social-networked, augmented reality – endeavouring to find similarities amongst differences. Do we often step back to think what friendship is? The early Greek philosopher Aristotle explains friendship as philia, implying a strong sense of sharing, mutuality, in pursuit of harmony as well as the truest expression of all practical virtues. For with friends, we are able to both think and act. Do we as humans, citizens, races, contemplate on friendship as we look around us and look through the small screens in our hands? Do we engage with each other’s ideas, take responsible actions to better the society? Or do we let these bonds wilt in neglect? As Soroptimist International’s Friendship Day on 3rd October approaches us, should we promise again to flourish, admire, act together even if we live nations apart?
Friendship Links are vital to all Soroptimist Clubs; they are mostly non-physical space that brings together amity, virtues and social justice. A show of affection between Soroptimist Clubs renders them as equals. Hence at Soroptimist International, we always encourage the clubs and club members to take initiatives to cherish the Links.
Why not send notes and cards through the internet, recalling a great event that the clubs shared and hosted? Why not rekindle the bond in reality through travel, food and conversations? Perhaps it is possible to share these bonds with humility at orphanages, halfway houses, houses of the neglected, and those under private and state care. Maybe some can organize musical soirees, or readings from history connecting the Linked clubs and the cities together. At Soroptimist International, all we can hope that the Links are enriched by synergy, such that the sphere of what one club thinks of as their own is expanded to include everything that their friend is and does.
The Soroptimist International Friendship Day is imbued by the memory of thousands of friends. Every year let us strengthen the Links with a sense of community service and sensitivity. Let us truly expand together in amity.
Happy Friendship Day!