I’m excited. Finally, I get to return to the Amish. It’s been a while since I was able to spend some time with my Amish friends. Cancer interrupted my time there (boo cancer).
There is something about Amish life that I just…love. It’s not just the plain dress and simple houses. It’s not the horse and buggies (although I confess that I LOVE that). It’s something about how they think. Of course, not every Amish person thinks the same way. They are individuals first…which we sometimes forget. But there is an overwhelming sense of calm and wisdom in how the Amish think. It has been over twenty-five years since I have been accepted into the Amish communities in Lancaster County. Not once have I seen an Amish man or woman lose their temper, speak without first thinking, or negatively gossip about another person (well, there was that one time…about a messy farm that no one wanted to go to for worship service).
Many of the books portray the Amish as being overtly stern and uncaring. Nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, they tend to shy away from strangers (aka Englische people). They are not prone to idle chit-chat, either. Tourists might mistake their silence as being unfriendly or unkind. Once you are accepted into the Amish community, however, everything changes.
I miss staying at the Amish farm and house. It’s been a long year as far as my need for soaking in the peace, tranquility, and goodness of the Amish communities.
Just the other week, I was at the Books Expos of America in NYC. I was talking with an author about his new book and, when I turned around to leave, a man had been bent over behind me (which is not very smart on his part). My bag must have hit him in the head and he yelled, “Hey! You just hit me in the head with your bag!” He literally glared at me as if I intentionally knocked him in the head.
With a big smile, I reached out and touched his arm. “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry. Such a clumsy mistake. Are you hurt? Are you OK?”
I think he was surprised. He blinked twice and shook his head, eyes downcast and (I’d like to think) a little embarrassed. In hindsight, I suspect he was waiting for my reaction and, when it was not full of anger and nastiness (as was his accusation), he realized how he must have sounded.
When we read Amish fiction, we catch glimpses of this goodness. My question to you, dear reader, is do you take that goodness and apply it to your own life? It isn’t easy…believe me. However, there is a great reward in responding to negative energy with positive energy…to role model the Amish way of life in our own lives. Trust me, I’m not perfect at this. However, it is something I continue to try incorporating into my interactions with people..
This week, I challenge each of you to do the same…see if it makes a difference in YOUR life. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the reaction from people. I’m curious to see if you notice any differences. 😀