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Intrigued by the Amish?

Leah's picture

Raised in an Old Order Amish home, I was always interested in learnin' how the Amish were perceived by those outside the faith.  If'n you would be so gracious as to share with me what part of the Amish lifestyle most fascinates ya, I would be ever so thankful.  For those of ya who are curious, what attracted me most to the English lifestyle was the freedom in which they exercised in their lives.  I always tho't of the English folks as bein' much like birds, free to roam where they pleased.  Growin' up Amish, I was very restricted with what was and was not allowed, and certainly where I was able to be and not be. 

Leah E Mast

Leah's picture

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

You sounded quite upset with my post when you replied, sueuprising.  Let me assure you that there were many reasons for my leavin' the faith, but the intrigue of more freedom was a great pull towards the English world.  I think we think of two different things when we speak of the word "freedom."  Since a small child, I have always had a deep longin' to author a book, a great dream of mine to this day.  I wished to see more of the world to be exposed to more experiences than my confined life amongst the Amish could offer me.  I also wished to further my education, as I was passionate about learnin', and wantin' very much to enroll myself in some writin' courses.  School after the eighth grade was shunned by the Amish.  These are two examples of what I meant when I spoke about "freedom".  Although I am no longer part of the Old Order sect, I am not completely "English" either.  I live my life somewhere in between, so to say I have left the Amish faith is not actually accurate.  My life resembles the Amish way much more so than the English way.  Anyway, I hope I have cleared up the misunderstandin' we seemed to have with each other.  Denki for respondin', nonetheless.

 

Leah E. Mast

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

I have to say that the amish life intrigues me because of the close knit of the families.  they are not drawn to keep up with the Joneses.  They don't have technology to be addicted to.  I used to think they had such simply lives but then I thought simply life to live without electricity makes everything twice the work.  I never thought the amish looked out to the english world to envy us.  I guess no matter where you live or what you do the grass is always greener on the other side. 

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

 More intriguing, Leah, is why you left the faith of your youth? Did you really think the "English"were more free to roam where they pleased? Did you actually think that people outside "your" community did not have rules or that parents did not set boundaries?  I would guess you now know otherwise. Susan

Leah's picture

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

Denki for respondin', each and every one of ya.  I am familiar with that quote, Tom, as it is often reprinted in Amish publications.  It was a quote from an Amish farmer.  Such wisdom he posessed, jah?!

Leah Mast

TomK's picture

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

Quoted in Small Farm Journal magazine (Summer, 1993) by one Amish writer:

"If you admire our faith -- strengthen yours. If you admire our sense of commitment -- deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit -- build your own. If you admire the simple life -- cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values -- live them yourself."

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

Hmmm that is a good question Leah.  I first became interested in the Amish when I was a child and recieved a book called "Shoofly Girl" and it was all about a little girl who was Amish. As I got older I started trying to find out more and more about the Amish and trying to separate fact from fiction. I think I was attracted to the idea of a close knit family with lots of kids that no only tried to get along but did not mind helping each other out. I also was intrigued with the idea that the communities actually help each other out with barn raising, house building, and paying medical bills.

I grew up in a poor neighborhood but the rich areas were extremely rich. It was night and day comparison. So even as a child I liked the idea of dressin "plain" where no one could tell who had more then another and no one was made fun of for not having the right clothes. In my old "hood" many children had parents who were drug addicts, alcoholics, child abusers, you name it. I used to envy Amish children because if they did get a "spanking' they know why they got it and I never heard of an Amish child being beaten to death or underfed intentionally.  

I know us Englishers are percieved as "free" but that is not always the case. Some Englishers are very strict in their child rearing and don't allow any choices at all. For the families that are flip opposite freedom with out responsibility becomes a burden within itself. 

Re: Intrigued by the Amish?

For me personally, I am fascinated with the Amish life style and perceive it as a simplier life than what I have.  I find it interesting that even though they are surrounded with things that we see as a necessity they freely live without.  Not to say that I am not content with my life, but have had the conversations many times with friends and colleagues that things that keep us busy wouldn't be so in Amish life.  I also find it fascinating that things that I perceive as simplifying my life is not perceived the same for the Amish (ie electricity, front load washer)  I have many times admitted that I could not live the Amish life style, I like my technology, career, car, etc but have found that I do have some things in common with them: devotion for God, love of family and good food Wink