Everybody is fascinated with the Amish. I am particularly obsessed and I think since the time I was 12 I started reading about them and really wanted to join them when I was a teenager. I think a lot of people secretly do. At this point I know enough to understand the good and the bad... and I would still join them, lol.
The reason I brought this up is I was watching the Duggars again, who recently visited an Amish family who very graciously allowed not only their large family into their home but the camera crew as well (you can watch the full episode here).
It surprised me that they would allow the cameras since the Amish are so camera shy. I guess that these are New Order Amish, who have different rules. I don't think being Amish is the way to go, but I think there are many things to learn from. For a very nice interview with an Amish couple, take a look at this article for some explanation of some beliefs.
I think that most of my better ideas have come straight from reading about the Amish, who live very deliberately. Yes there's a lot of rules, some of them silly, but all reflecting a very deliberate decision about how to live. Here's some of what I've learned:
- Technology isn't all good. Now we have no TV and no video games, and I just mowed the lawn with a pushmower. Carefully evaluate everything that you use in your life. As the article above quotes the a New Order belief: "...the mobility and communication that is made available through modern technology encourages the break-down of family intimacy. Modern conveniences should not be utilized at the expense of a cohesive family structure."
- Traditional roles for men and women are a good thing. Women are made to be moms and men to be the labourers. It is the natural order of things.
- Keep your family close. Amish families spend a lot of time together and try to keep their work close to home.
- Your clothes change your attitude and reflect who you are. It's hard to explain this concept...on one hand clothes don't matter and are not really something to focus on. On the other hand they very much affect your life. One one hand being modest is important. On the other hand the human body is a beautiful thing and not to be ashamed of. The Amish have become distinguished by the way they dress, and I'm not sure that's necessary. But being modest without being ashamed and at the same time not being obsessed with how we look is important. Having a uniform accomplishes this... which is why many schools require a uniform. People used to all dress alike, and maybe the competitive way we all dress differently is unhealthy. Just speculating. :)
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