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.