Friday, July 5, 2013

The Brave Amish

The cohort wearing the complimentary ponchos
The cohort finally reunited to go on a trip to Niagara Falls today. It was very nice to finally have a stress free day just hanging out with the group. The drive took about three hours, but it was definitely worth it. The Falls were beautiful! We all got soaking wet, but ponchos were provided.

Besides spending the day being a tourist instead of a student, I saw some Amish people. I’ve always heard about them, but I’ve never seen them before in my life. Today, I saw a lot of them. On the way to Buffalo, they were seen riding in a horse-drawn carriage. I thought it was quite odd because most people travel by car or at least a vehicle because of technology. As you can probably tell, I didn’t know much about Amish people.

When we got to Buffalo, I saw an Amish family of six. They wore clothing I imagined people of the colonial times would wear. It didn’t quite fit in with the scenery though. It was amazing to me how the Amish could stand to be so different. For me, I would think twice about what to wear in public and I wouldn’t dare to be different from the people around me.
Tamilyn and I soaking wet with one of the waterfalls in the background

We saw even more Amish people when we got to Niagara Falls. Once again, they were dressed differently. I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes because I’d be too self-conscious. As soon as I got back into my dorm room, I researched about the Amish. It turns out that they live with strict rules about technology and they choose to be as traditional as possible. They also believe in excommunication when one doesn’t abide by the rules. It sounded a lot like the things I learned about churches in England before the Pilgrims came to America.  
One of the waterfalls

I think it’s a bit odd how the Amish came to America, the land of the free, to choose to have less freedom. I know that if I were a part of people with the same beliefs, I wouldn’t want to be so restricted. However, I also know that it’s their right to do whatever they want, even if I don’t agree with their beliefs. 
A back view of some of the Amish
Though I don’t agree with them, I do admire them. They choose to live without technology! Since I grow up in a world where technology is everything, I really don’t know what I’d do if I suddenly have to survive on horse-drawn carriages and real life communication. I’m too use to riding in a car and using my cell phone. Also, their individuality is very admirable. I’m sure they know that they are different from most people around them, yet they continue to live the way they do. They looked so happy and content to be dressing differently! I also found out that they choose to survive through rural life and manual labor. While most people wish to have a future working in an easy environment with offices and air conditioning, the Amish want to work hard physically and not mentally. 
After observing the Amish, I know I don’t pity them, but I admire them. In fact, I’m a bit jealous. How could they be so bold? Most people I know, myself included, would rather run with the crowd and not stand out. How are the Amish able to deal with the scrutiny of others? I know my generation is too reliant on technology yet I still embrace it. If the Amish can dare to be different and stand out, maybe I can too. If they can survive without constantly using technology, maybe I can too. However, I think being apart from technology would be too difficult for me since I’ve been so accustomed to it for so long.

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