As a blogger, I put myself out there for everyone to know my likes, my dislikes, my dreams, my desires and even how I choose to live. I have learned to have broad shoulders and don’t take things personally. I do a pretty good job at taking it all in and not letting a few choice comments get me down.
However, there is one comment I keep getting that I just have to address. It centers around an Amish life and their religious beliefs and rules.
Setting the Story Straight:
I fully understand that the Amish have religious beliefs and practices that may be different than our Christian ways. It is not their beliefs and practices that I strive for, but their way of mastering a simple and ordinary lifestyle. We all have the right to practice religion in a free country, and that includes the Amish. I write a lot about the Amish. I grew up near the Amish, I have worked with them, and I have Amish friends. I consider myself pretty educated with their lifestyle and feel comfortable writing about their way of life. What I don’t write about is their religious beliefs, but their simple, uncomplicated way of life.
The Simple Side of an Amish Life:
How often have you heard others say? “I wish I could slow down, I am so busy I can’t see straight.”
Most of us, including myself, have spent years trying to rid our lives of the hectic rat-race we call life. If there’s one thing I have noticed about my interaction with the Amish is they have mastered the art of slow living. Now don’t get me wrong, I know they have periods of busy times just like the rest of us, but what they don’t have is the onset of media, electronics, and modern living to keep them away from the simpler way of life.
What the Amish do well and what I admire about them is this:
- They can sit in a room and talk to one another rather than watch blindly at a big black box on the wall.
- They find joy and peace in enjoying nature.
- They sit down every day, for all three meals, to home cooked meals.
- They look out for and care for their neighbors and elderly.
- They have no need or desire to keep up with modern society.
- Through their simple existence, they have removed consumerism from their homes and lives.
- They are not afraid of a hard day’s work.
- But above all what I admire is their willingness to forgive, their sense of grace and YES their desire to live in acceptance of God’s will.
Is their way of life different than mainstream America? Yes, it is and no matter how they conform to the rules set in place it’s still a life uncomplicated by today’s busy standards.
Could I live according to those rules? Probably not! The life they live requires deep conviction and an unyielding discipline that only comes after years and years of upbringing.
So what can we do to live that uncomplicated simple life?
- We can separate ourselves from the world enough that we know how to slow down and enjoy the life around us.
- We can look for ways to reach out to our neighbors and be a good welcoming hostess.
- We can cook homemade meals and make family time a priority.
- We can be a good steward of the land.
- We can strive to be self-sufficient and not be reliant on others for our needs.
- We can put the electronics away and reach for a book, yarn and a needle, or challenge someone to a game of cards.
- We can sit quietly and enjoy nature and not have to be entertained.
- We can enjoy a long walk down a country road.
- And plainly we can just enjoy the simpler side of things, and for that, I am grateful they gave me a role model to follow.
What are your thoughts?
Please remember we all don’t have to agree on everything and if you disagree, please keep your comments polite and don’t belittle anyone that may look to the Amish as a guide to living a simpler life.
Photo by: Jim Fisher