Can we live as modern Amish simple, but with all the conveniences of today's world
The Amish follow a simple life, many people dream of days gone by in our society, Do you think a simple life is possible in our culture today?
If you are Amish, that would be a mistake. Once the door is open, where will it stop? If you have a standard, you should keep it.
Most dreams of days gone by are romanticized notions glossing over the worst parts of the past. I suspect that the Amish life is not as simple as it appears to outsiders, but I have neither the opportunity nor the desire to find out. If a simple life is desired, then start by examining where you are at now. That is where your life is anyway.
It depends on what you carry with you. Attachments of any kind can be a burden.
I would recommend that you first do some house cleaning (a good thing to do regularly). Clear your mind of all things -- attachments, beliefs, prejudices, biases, learning -- empty your cup completely.
Then, look at the world and decide what things you would like to put in your life. Looking at your own life and worldview freshly can help put things into perspective.
I did this before I moved from America to the Philippines 6 years ago.
The process was not a perfect one, but I learned a great deal. I gave up a great many "things."
You cannot keep selfishness in a spiritual life, for instance. But change does not always happen instantaneously. You have to keep re-examining your life with a critical and loving eye.
I tend to agree with @Steel Engineer, but I would caution that you should occasionally also re-examine your standard. It may be inadequate to your new worldview. This has happened to me several times in my life. It may seem unsettling to some that their goal post keeps moving, but if your standard includes spiritual growth, you'll find that goal post moving in the right direction, most of the time.
But there are even some "spiritual" people who get it wrong. That's where regular "house cleaning" comes in handy, clearing your mind and spirit of attachments that burden rather than empower you.
Of course it's possible--for those who choose to do so. For example, my wife and I hardly live as simply as the Amish, but neither do we load ourselves up with all of the complications available to the average city dweller.
That is, we live off grid. We do have cell phones, but only the relatively simple flip types, no Androids or whatever. Hers is on mostly to be able to communicate with her son, and mine is only on when I'm running errands (so she can reach me if she panics). We have TV, but don't watch it all that much. We have generators for electricity but at night use nothing but flashlights for more hours than not (except in my office, since I type through the night).
Food is pretty simple here, too. We generally only eat one meal a day.
I think we can live a simple life. I don't think that the majority of people can live like the Amish, but we can simplify our lives. We do not need multiple TV's, computers etc. We do not need Huge houses. People need to distinguish between wants and needs. In many countries people still live simple lives and in fact are happier thean we in North America. I have gotten rid of a lot of things and simplified my home and life. Life is a lot better.
Yes, if we choose to. We need to all make adjustments in order to live simply. I would like to have a simpler life and in some ways I do. I don't go without electricity though, I find it a necessity. When I can get by with only running fans in order to keep cool. I do so. I am paying more attention to spending habits. Example: I went to the local Roses store and purchased the soon- to- be expired bread they had on sale for 1.25. I found this to be a good purchase because this bread would easily cost more than 3.00 at the grocery. Spending less is a simple life choice we all can do.
I am currently reading a book titled, "Growing Up Amish" written by a man who was one of 11 Amish children. At age 16 he climbed out his bedroom window and left the Amish life.
I am only half way through this book. My husband and I visit Lancaster, Pennsylvania every year - for over 25 years - we see the simplicity of the Amish life.
That being said, this book I am reading is profound. If what the author says is true, it is not as "simple" as one might think. VERY, strict, and many teens leave.
I could never survive a three hour sermon on Sunday, with over an hour of hymns.
Very rigid and judgmental upbringing for those children who are Amish.
I would never be Amish, ever. In answer to your question, yes I DO miss the simple days of growing up...The age of technology has robbed children of being kids...many I see when I am out and about, even children in strollers, have cell phones! Kids are addicted to video games, eating, texting, and growing obese.
I believe a simple life is possible ONLY by choice. Saying "no" to activities that you really don't want to participate in, choosing to get a good night's sleep - vital for health and well being, - I see people racing, racing, racing - on the road, at the store, people are just in a hurry. Also saying no to your children in firm love.
I grew up with a simple telephone, telephone booths, typewriters, bicycle riding, and spending a summer at a lake with no telephone or television. We played solitaire and canasta with popcorn in the evening with our grandparents. I sure miss those days. In fact, I'm visiting that lake this week to take pictures for my memory book.
Thank you for a great, thought-provoking question. Blessings, Sparklea
After becoming paralyzed in a hospital for 8 days and not being able to walk, I learned a new appreciation for what's really important in life.
Having said that, we are trying to downsize stuff we don't need or want. Putting forth important values and trying to live a more simple lifestyle.
One thing that stands out to me regarding the Amish are the barn raisings. I love how the community comes together as one and raises a barn within hours. I think that's awesome! Helping each other.
The Amish have strong inter-personal relationships. They help each other in times of need. They have core values, philosophies and beliefs which I believe society could benefit from it taught how to apply it in today's world.
I have friends, family of six, who bought an Amish farm in Ohio. There is no electricity. They do have cell phones and the kids have limited time online with the two cell phones. These kids have won all types of awards. One of the girls won bow competition at the state level. They seem very happy and the children well balanced. They are religious but are not Amish.
Personally, I think our world has gone materialistically mad. I think Christmas is a spirit that should live throughout the year, giving to the poor and those who are less fortunate, rather than buy into the commercialism that your life cannot be complete if you don't have the latest and greatest.
I also think we could learn greatly from people who live a modest style in appearance too.
If I could keep my electricity due to air conditioner needs and not taking the heat well, I could give most everything else up. I no longer keep my AC at 60 but I do enjoy it on a really hot day for relief. I also would not give up indoor plumbing. Just call me selfish.
When I was very young, we had electricity but used it very sparingly and to this day, in Winter months, we use kerosene lamps and hanging candle lanterns nightly.
I don't watch tv at all and we don't pay for tv but use a sophisticated antenna. I don't even know what it's called. It looks like an ipad with no keys.
Sitting together at the table for meals is one place to start. I don't like eating separately in the house. But I grew up in a large family and that's just what feels good to me.
I went to a Black Powder Rendezvous this weekend. For a while, we live as Native Americans and live a very simple life there. Many of our friends do this lifestyle year round. The Vouers, as we call ourselves, are very good conversationalists, are used to a simple life, and all have skills that would come in handy if ever needed. That being said, the first thing I do when I leave is take a long leisurely shower!
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