23 July 2020



Photo: Hormoz with two of his best friends, Patti and Dusty.

As International Frienship Day approaches on 30 July , Hormoz reflects on the value of friends.

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”
– Winnie the Pooh

The original idea for a day of friendship came from Hallmark cards in the 1930’s. Unsurprisingly, the day was largely viewed cynically by the public as a money-making exercise. In reality, sales of friendship day cards did not take off in Europe and by the mid-1940’s the day had faded into obscurity in the USA. Following other attempts to revitalise the day, the UN made the 30th of July the official day to celebrate friendship in 2011. 

Why emphasise the need for the recognition of this day now? During this most unsettled of periods, the need to be listened to and being able to share fears and thinking about refocusing on what we have is essential. 

I remember feeling exactly like Winnie the Pooh as a child being with my closest friends. I wanted to spend ALL of my time with them and not miss a second of an experience. Reflecting, I also thought that this state of bliss and intense love for my few best friends would never change. Little did I know that life isn’t so simplistic.

The inevitable changes that happen to us all when we grow up, go to different schools and change neighbourhoods, happened. I had to deal with the heartbreaks I felt with each change in a way I could not understand at that stage. But I had to, and I did. 

At a young age, I had to deal with several major changes which included leaving my homeland and family, adjusting to a new country, becoming a refugee and examining my sexuality. Friendships I formed at this stage in my life appeared not to be as important as the ones from my childhood. I was wrong.

When my breakdown happened, I went into the deepest of depressions. I remember thinking at one point that I had NO friends left. I was even feeling alien towards my partner. 

But as I started recovering and building myself and my life again it was the love and support of my partner, family and friends that accelerated the process of healing.

The kindness of strangers and new acquaintances also had a surprising impact on me. There are certain professional and non-professional people who came into my life that made a big difference. I discovered people I barely knew that I could quickly connect with partly because I was discovering who I was more and more each day.

“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.”
– Jim Henson

I learned the hard way the importance of opening up more and showing my vulnerabilities. I realised that the more I did this the more I made better connections with people. It created feelings of strength and more authentic relationships. 

With the pressures and stresses of our busy lives, it is far too easy to not communicate with others who can help us. As friends, we should also keep an eye out for others who may be closing in on themselves, rather than expressing their thoughts. 

I can readily declare that if my friendships had not been as strong as they were, I would not be here now. In every way! 

The help from friends as well as self-development brought me to coaching. It revolutionised my life. What’s rewarding is that many people we work with talk about the strong impact on their lives of better communication and removing barriers to understanding each other: all the best ingredients for the International Day of Friendship!

If you want to speak to us about coaching, contact us.


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