July 30 marks International Friendship Day and is a great reminder to reflect on ‘friendship’ as a vehicle for social harmony.
One of the simplest forms of human solidarity is friendship and recognising how it positively affects change across the world will help us face personal and global challenges. The ripples of friendship carry positive impacts through daily life, combating the divisions of human rights abuses, war, poverty and violence.
Living with a disability can sometimes bring with it social barriers to developing independent relationships. OPTIONS provides a place where friendships flourish and develop naturally. Whether it’s the laughter shared during a communal Cooking Skills class, the mutual pleasure of a group bush walk, the collective satisfaction of learning a theatrical production, the all important pieces come together to produce familiarity, affinity, solidarity and trust.
The friendships developed at OPTIONS through recreation, work, volunteering and fun daily activities deliver a sense of personal connection, joy and feelings of safety and stability. Friendship breaks down social and personal barriers, encourages confidence, gives purpose and allows intimacy.
The social harmony and networks that develop through friendships contribute to critical shifts in thinking needed to achieve inclusion, stability, safety, peace and passion for a better world.
So keep making ripples! … and happy International Friendship Day.