Thursday, 25 October 2012

Almost Amish?

There is a book on the market by the same name, ‘Almost Amish’, by Nancy Sleeth. She and her husband decided it wasn’t good enough just to talk about saving the planet – they decided to do something about it too. That included moving to a smaller house, reducing their energy consumption and cutting their waste by 90%. She wrote ‘Almost Amish’ to show people just what we can learn from these simple religious people; how we can incorporate more peacefulness and reduce stress in our own lives, by adopting a more simple lifestyle.

On ‘Sojourners - faith in action for social justice,’ Nancy has written an article which offers comments on the book’s ten most important things the Amish can teach us in our fast paced 21st Century lives:
  1. Homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean; the outside reflects the inside.
  2. Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master.
  3. Saving more and spending less brings financial peace.
  4. Time spent in God’s creation reveals the face of God.
  5. Small and local leads to saner lives.
  6. Service to others reduces loneliness and isolation.
  7. The only true security comes from God.
  8. Knowing neighbors and supporting local businesses builds community.
  9. Family ties are lifelong; they change but never cease.
  10. Faith life and way of life are inseparable.

To me, this list distils the essence of what people find attractive about the Amish. They live simple, uncluttered lives, mixed with a faith on which everything else in the universe depends. Technology does not rule their lives; in fact, they manage quite well without it. They have strong family values. Their simple lifestyle gives them stability, an inner peace and a sense of purpose towards both God and man. Isn’t this really what most of us are looking for in life? Could it be that the Amish have an understanding of life that has eluded the rest of us? Or are they a culture that is outdated and has little if anything to say to us today?


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