Lessons of the Amish

Lessons of the Amish

Nothing is more exemplary of the endurance of traditional values than the Amish community. In an increasingly individualistic and liberal world, the Amish are often looked to as a reminder that a simpler life exists where humanity’s sense of community has not been lost, and individuals are free from many of the issues that come with modern society. Such a culture has much to offer in the way of wisdom, life lessons, and society building. Here are 5 lessons we can gather from the Amish:

1. Not to allow mainstream society to influence one’s religious beliefs. At the core of Amish culture is religion, which dictates their lifestyle and social roles. Amish culture has persevered for over 300 years, and despite the tumultuous modern world is thriving and growing faster than ever before, all thanks to their preservation of their doctrines and values.

2. It is necessary to remove problematic individuals from a collective. In the Amish world, individuals whose beliefs or actions contradict the community’s core values are “shunned,” meaning the community withdraws support and cuts off contact with the individual. Though some Amish are more lenient about shunning and may choose to keep in contact with friends or family who have left the community, the person is still banned from the church and from social activities. Although mainstream society sees shunning as a harsh and unforgiving aspect of Amish culture, it benefits the Amish community by preventing their core beliefs and values from being compromised.

3. Better physical and mental health make for a more productive community. Due to their lifestyle habits and regular community interaction, the Amish have lower rates of anxiety, depression, and physical illnesses than the mainstream population. This translates to a more productive and smoothly functioning society, with large families, every family having their own farm and/or business, and less money and resources being spent on medical care. 4. Homeschooling or sending children to small local schooling groups lead to well adjusted children with strong values. Despite the outside world pushing humanity to reject social norms and embrace nonconformity, Amish children are choosing to retain their traditional beliefs and remain with their community in record numbers, with 85% staying. It is worth noting that this choice is of their own volition, as Amish children are given the chance to leave their community at the end of their Rumspringa (a period of time in which they interact with mainstream society). This is largely due to the Amish having their own education system and deciding amongst themselves what their children are taught in their most important developmental years. 5. A community built on self sufficiency will survive economic recession, inflation, and crises. Self sustenance has allowed the Amish to thrive and maintain their lifestyle for hundreds of years throughout depressions, wars, and numerous other crises such as the recent covid pandemic and shutdowns. Today, despite record inflation levels and economic fluctuations, the Amish community is growing faster than ever before, and continues to have high birth rates and successful family businesses. This would be impossible if not for their impressive array of skills and knowledge such as agriculture, carpentry, home repairs, and natural medicine.