The Amazing Amish

Many people make fun of the Amish people, but they are amazing people and we should learn more from them about forgiveness, love and courage.

* Amish girl asked to be shot to save others
* Amish grandfather: ‘We must not think evil of this man’
* Amish leaders set up fund for Roberts’ widow and three children
* Amish mourn gunman who killed 5 girls

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Thom Holwerda wrote on October 8th, 2006 at 10:13 AM PST:

Definitely. Not my preffered way of life, but I have a lot of respect for these people. What I really liked was that when television people from all over the world came to that Amish town, the Amish people were not scary of them at all. Even though they dismiss modern technology, they were open and willing enough to say what they had to say in front of the camera. I almost got the feeling the Amish people there were more open than the rest of America.

I only have one problem with them: do they allow their children to make up their own minds as to whether or not to live this life? I am used to parents letting their children make their own choices when it comes to religion and lifestyle, so seeing children forced to adapt a certain way of living is always kind of barbaric to me.


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Eugenia wrote on October 8th, 2006 at 10:29 AM PST:

Yes. Their children get a period of time after their teenage years where they go out and see the world (they have a name for this, but I can’t remember it now). Then, it is up to them if they want to come back to the Amish way of life or stay in the modern world. Not all Amish make use of that period of time, some try it, some don’t. Most boys try it I think, but girls are free to try it too. Most people who try it usually stay close to their hometowns.

HOWEVER, IF the person decides to come back to the Amish community and then he/she decides that they want to go back out, their family and other Amish shuns them. They are not allowed to return back or even to talk to them if they leave for a second time. The first time that they leave is an allowed try-out to decide for themselves, but if they go out-in-out, they are out forever. However, this is not true for all Amish communities, there are small differences between the different settlements.

Two years ago there was a reality TV show during the summer on some young Amish people and so I learned a bit about their way of life. Basically, they took 4 LA guys and girls and 6 Amish young girls and boys and mixed them in an LA luxurious house with a swimming pool. During their month there, the TV show was paying for their tours around LA to see cool stuff. Some of these Amish people had never seen the sea and were really shocked to see night clubs and such. At the end, I think only 1 of them stayed in LA, 1 could not make up her mind yet, and the rest went back to the Amish way of life.


Luis wrote on October 8th, 2006 at 10:39 AM PST:

It is an amazing lesson to all of us.

I always have strange feelings when I see the family of someone who’s been killed claiming for justice/revenge and wishing that the killer will suffer as much as he has made them suffer, asking for him to stay in prison until he dies, etc… On one side I can feel their own pain and understand them, but at the same time it hurts me to see they wish the same pain for who has caused the pain to them. Feeling such pain should be enough not to wish it to anyone else, even if he has caused it. Though I admit you have to live such situation before you can really understand it.

As for forcing kids to live their own way, I guess there’s no other choice. If you choose to live one way, your kids are “forced” to live that way too, at least until they’re old enough to decide and be able to move away. However, kids love their parents (as long as their parents love them) and they are happy to live like them. I don’t see the situation is different from non-Amish people, anyway.


mikesum32 wrote on October 9th, 2006 at 11:28 AM PST:

The word you’re looking for is rumspringa or rumschpringe.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumspringa

Gabe “Darkwyrm” Yoder’s dad was Amish but went “English”

I suspected he had Amish roots because every “Yoder’s” food product in the supermarket (cheese and pretzals) had pictures of horses and buggies and women in bonnets.


Tam Hanna wrote on October 9th, 2006 at 11:28 AM PST:

Hi Eugenia,
I hate you for the entries that foce me to write sth political..I have a policy of not discussing politics, etc with anyone.

Anyways, I think that for the Amish, the “trial period” is almost riskless. If you are brought up in an environment, you will not want to leave it…

So, the people are way too lost in the “true world” to survive there and thus return to the amish…

Best regards
Tam Hanna


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