There’s something so appealing about the Amish Lifestyle.
Their simplicity, their family values, their work ethics, just to name a few. But, what most Americans idolize about the Amish are things easily obtained. Well most of us wouldn’t dream of living without electric or even try to follow the rules, we can capture some of the simplicity that draws people to their way of life.
In all reality, they’re just like us…they’re Christians, mothers, fathers, and children, and they have the same struggles as we do. They worry about their children and how to provide for their families. But what’s so captivating is they live as close to the land as possible, are very family oriented and they approach a more sustainable, back-to-basics way of living.
If you find their way of life appealing, there are many things you can do to bring some Amish values into your life.
Practice Gratitude. Being humble is a big step to living a quieter simple life. In today’s world, many of us want to be the center of attention, we want to stand out in the crowd and be heard. Finding peace and serenity starts with being silent. Listen to those around you, avoid gossip, stay clear of bragging and avoid being too showy.
Establish Peace. It may be hard for many of us to find peace in a world full of news, electronics and the constant connection to the outside world. But finding ways to add periods of peace to your life should be the ultimate goal every day. Turn off the TV, practice yoga, learn meditation, read a book and reject all forms of noise.
Live on Less. How many things in your life are items that bring nothing of value to your life? Many of our homes are filled with consumer-driven products that just clutter our space. You will find that once you start ridding your home of all those things that just take up space you will find true freedom from owning less.
Provide for Yourself. Have you ever stopped and thought about what would happen if you couldn’t go to the store? Finding ways to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle is a big part of living a simpler life. Being able to raise your own vegetables, sew your own clothes, conserve your own energy, and bake your own bread are just a few ways to learn to take care of yourself.
Work Hard. Don’t be afraid of hard work and take pride in the work you do. Discover the feeling of satisfaction from putting in a hard day’s work. Whether you sit at a desk or get your hands dirty every day, do the best job and commend others who do a good job around you.
Be Modest. We all like to look nice and feel good about ourselves, but being obsessed by the latest fashion or spending hundreds of dollars on beauty products will only leave you dissatisfied with your true appearance. When choosing your clothing look for flattering styles that are not too tight, too revealing or too flashy. Wear clothes that are comfortable, while still stylish and presentable. Keep accessories to a minimum and be as true to your natural appearance as possible.
Appreciate the Outdoors. Add some form of outdoor activity to your life every day. A walk or a stroll through the park, a few minutes pulling weeds or a game of catch are just a few ways to restore your mental health and gain an appreciation of the outside world around us.
Seek Community. Do you know your neighbors? Build relationships with those around you. Gladly lend tools, trade babysitting, and go out of your way to help in times of need. Many of our neighbors may be lonely and feel isolated, take the time to introduce yourself and be friendly.
Build Family Ties. In today’s modern world broken families are normal, take a stand and stop the cycle. Spend time working on your family! Make a point to sit down to meals together, reach out to elderly family members, and build simple family traditions.
Rely on God. The most important value we can learn from the Amish is to put our faith in the Lord and remember we are not God’s children only on Sunday’s. As we make an effort to slow down we are able to hear God’s message more clearly. Whether you are at home, in the car or on the football field, act with compassion, be loving and kind, and put others before yourself.
Changing the way you live starts with YOU! By making just a few small changes in your life you will soon be slowing down and living a more sustainable life.
Photo by Jim Fisher