The secret of the Amish

It’s so easy to make fun of the Amish, and yet they resolutely continue to live happy and meaningful lives, while those who mock them are often left feeling unhappy or unfulfilled.

So what is their secret?

  • Is it that the horse is a better means of transport than the automobile?
  • Is it that 18th century agricultural practices trump the iPhone and the internet?
  • Is it that Jesus is a better role model than Justin Bieber?
  • Is it that education makes you sad and ignorance keeps you smiling?
  • Or is it that Trust in Gad is a more reliable cure than 21st century medicine?

Or could it be that hard work, optimism and giving thanks for what you have is a tried and tested formula for achieving happiness?

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5 responses to “The secret of the Amish

  1. I think it’s the last point. Stay tuned for my A to Z posts in the month of April. Theme is 26 ways to be happy, and they are all about accepting and appreciating what you have instead of chasing some more tangible $ requiring version of happiness.
    My husband did a study on Amish farming practices in college, as they are many Amish close to where we live now and where we went to school. Fascinating.

  2. My perception of the people who have an Amish-type belief is that they don’t seem to have to think about giving. Their generosity of spirit is very attractive; I once worked for a charity for refugees and asylum seekers and when the charity ran short of money a nearby religious group of people who lead a lifestyle very similar to the Amish gave a large donation out of the goodness of their hearts. We don’t hear about their giving because they don’t show off about it. It is quite rare to find a miserable but generous person, don’t you agree? So I really think cardamone5 has a point; being thankful for what you have and, better still, being generous with it, is one of the key elements to happiness. I must put that into practice!

  3. I worked in OB, so I got to know some of them. They are actually really smart but you really don’t need rocket science or advanced algebra when you are hooking up solar panels to their house or put solar lamps out during the day. They know that herbicides and pesticides cause disease so their produce is organic. They know basic business practices and make wonderful furniture. Can’t say much since I’ve lived in the city for over 6 years but even they were starting to buy a car or truck for stuff they need in town but it served the whole community. I suppose that there are more strict communities that forbid these things or perhaps they are evolving too because they will allow electric breast pumps and commercial formula when it calls for it. When a woman has a baby in the hospital, the whole community pays cash for it. When Americans think “socialism” they really should think and model their ideas of it from the Amish. But I’ve tried for so long to get our politicians to model after sustainable practices with public health in mind and to help small towns become sustainable but there isn’t any money in it for the politicians or the energy companies and I can’t even get people to care about clean drinking water, so I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even care anymore. If I talk about buying a farm and having a community, I’m accused of starting a cult. With all the negativity and name calling over the last 4 years, I’ve given up and with cancer rates skyrocketing from contaminated environments, it will spill over onto the Amish eventually. It will be us that destroys their way of life because of our choices. I wonder how that will change their perceptions and if they will have to evolve to include more advanced technology to clean their water and change their farming with how many oil pipelines busting and corporations dumping contaminates. It’s a brave new world. =/

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