International Day of Friendship was created to inspire peace and bridge building. On July 30th, the Way to Happiness Association brought together a diverse crowd to dialogue for the occasion.
Across the country, recent news has been nothing short of terrifying: police brutality, shootings and arson in church, and national symbols of hate turned into monuments have been the norm. To lift the community to a new level, the Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee is working with other community organizations to plan an event with dialogue and activity aimed at raising awareness and friendship among even the most disparate peoples.
The occasion is the International Day of Friendship, an observance dignified in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities,” according to un.org.
The resolution emphasizes that young people, as future leaders, can be brought together in activities with different cultures. This promotes international understanding and respect for diversity.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is quoted as saying, “On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family.”
The event was called “A Journey to Friendship Through Dialogue,” and was led to help people participate and open up amongst those with whom they might not otherwise associate.
The Way to Happiness is based on the book of the same name by L. Ron Hubbard, and the program is predicated on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others—and that without the survival of others, neither joy nor happiness are attainable. Several concepts in the book promote dialogue and friendship. Among them, “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others,” “Be Worthy of Trust,” and “Try to Treat Others As You Would Want them to Treat You.”