Rediscovering Amity.

Amity is defined as ‘friendship’ or ‘peaceful harmony’ or “mutual understanding and a peaceful relationship, esp. between nations; peace; accord.”  But what does this type of friendship mean?  Is peaceful harmony the simple respect of leaving one another alone, or is there something more to it?  Does amity require the type of friendship that implies helping out with the hard times, as well as celebrating the good?  Does it require a deeper kind of agreement, or at least understanding, on issues of faith, morals, politics, or education?

Amity is also the name of the foundation I worked with during my time as an English teacher in China (which I was surprised to discover blogging on WordPress, just like me).  The organization is Christian in a country that is largely not, a country that actively prosecutes outside proselytizing.  It is also one of the longer running voluntary nonprofits in the country, which is a part of what originally led me to join the organization for a time.  Ultimately though I would say my experiences there were more to my advantage than theirs.

China gave me many opportunities.  The free time to write.  The forced need to interact with a culture different than mine, in a different language setting.  The experience of teaching.   The time to reflect a little on what I wanted to do with my life.  The feel-good of doing good for others.  And for that, I am and will continue to be grateful.
It’s something I can always pull out and look at and say ‘hey, I was a part of something great,” no matter what the rest of my life may or may not amount to.

Tempus Fugit

The current market downturn can be seen as a shortage of lending, or the inability of businesses to get the money they require to do business.  Recently for myself there seems to be a shortage of time instead.  It seems no matter how little I plan myself, other people are always expecting me to do things.  In addition, even the ‘free’ time I have seems to somehow disappear.  The apartment is a mess, last night was the first time I did laundry in about two weeks, and I have about 50 secret projects I’m supposed to be finishing up while Mike is away.  Sometimes it has me asking myself why I ever say yes to anything, but I do like to keep busy.

The Latin phrase of the title and I have had an interesting history.  The first time I ever saw it was as the title of a short story for one of my roommates’ creative writing classes.  I knew that ‘tempus’ meant ‘time’ in Latin, but I wasn’t sure about the second word.  What could ‘fugit’ be?  Obviously, the Latin word for ‘fudge’.  I envisioned a weird dessert of those ancient concrete-aqueduct builders that allowed them to travel through time.  Yum.  When I was told that ‘fugit’ actually meant ‘flies’, my little daydream was further expanded.  Now I had time travel fudge that was self-propelled through the air.  What a great idea!

I never read the associated short story the title came with.  My friend Kate said it was boring, and I didn’t want it to foil my own fantastical imaginings.   I wonder what it was about?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see if I can mess with my bosses’ picture using the free software I probably wasn’t supposed to download onto my work computer.  I’m a very busy person, you see.