The Amish: a people of preservation

These people trace their heritage back hundreds of years, and yet, despite all the time that has passed and the many changes that have taken place in society, they still live and work much as their forefathers did. Their families and their farms are their top priorities, second only to God. The Amish are very devout in their faith. They believe in the literal interpretation and application of Scripture as the Word of God. They take seriously the Biblical commands to separate themselves from the things of the world. They believe worldliness can keep them from being close to God, and can introduce influences that could be destructive to their communities and to their way of life. They have been employing horse-drawn power since the days when horsepower had a whole different meaning! In comparison to our fast-paced society, the simpler, family-centered Amish way of life holds a special fascination.

Listen and fill in the gaps:

What the Amish lose in speed they gain in fellowship. Work under the right circumstances is ________________________________. A tractor is allowed for belt power, but not to _______________________________. By _____________________________, the Amish also keep their old people from becoming obsolete as fast as the machinery of their youth is outmoded. Shared within the family, hard work _______________________________; you’ve done it before with your parents and you’ll do it again in the same way with your children. The Amish find their ________________________ in labour rather than in escape from it. Much of what seems different about the Amish is only their continuing to practise what everybody used to, long after almost _______________________________________.

 

 

Answers

The Amish: a people of preservation
These people trace their heritage back hundreds of years, and yet, despite all the time that has passed and the many changes that have taken place in society, they still live and work much as their forefathers did. Their families and their farms are their top priorities, second only to God. The Amish are very devout in their faith. They believe in the literal interpretation and application of Scripture as the Word of God. They take seriously the Biblical commands to separate themselves from the things of the world. They believe worldliness can keep them from being close to God, and can introduce influences that could be destructive to their communities and to their way of life. They have been employing horse-drawn power since the days when horsepower had a whole different meaning! In comparison to our fast-paced society, the simpler, family-centered Amish way of life holds a special fascination.

Listen and fill in the gaps:

What the Amish lose in speed they gain in fellowship. Work under the right circumstances is as enjoyable as pray. A tractor is allowed for belt power, but not to pull equipment in a field. By resisting technological change the Amish also keep their old people from becoming obsolete as fast as the machinery of their youth is outmoded. Shared within the family, hard work becomes a seasonal ritual; you’ve done it before with your parents and you’ll do it again in the same way with your children. The Amish find their happiness and meaning in labour rather than in escape from it. Much of what seems different about the Amish is only their continuing to practise what everybody used to, long after almost everybody else stopped doing it.

 

 

Script
Their ancestors were Swiss mountain farmers from the canton of Bern, already a stubbornly rural and tradition-loving people, they sidestepped the priesthood in the reformation of the 1520s and began to read the Bible and meet in groups with lay leaders. In simple response to the teachings of Jesus they abandoned warfare, refused to take civil oaths and made baptism an act of voluntary adult commitment to the church. What the Amish lose in speed they gain in fellowship. Work under the right circumstances is as enjoyable as play; shared work is, in many cases, the Amish man’s recreation. A tractor is allowed for belt power, but not to pull equipment in a field. That would be crossing an invisible technological line that the Amish define for the sake of their community. They sense just how much change their community can support without coming a part of the scenes by getting on the uncontrollable escalator of progress. By resisting technological change or at least, slowing it down to controllable speed, the Amish also keep their old people from becoming obsolete as fast as the machinery of their youth is outmoded. Maintaining simple ways of farming lessens the distance between the generations. Shared within the family hard work becomes a seasonal ritual; you’ve done it before with your parents and you’ll do it again in the same way with your children. Greater speed and size in their implements might eliminate some labour, but the Amish find their happiness and meaning in labour rather than in escape from it. So much of what seems different about the Amish is only their continuing to practise what everybody used to, long after almost everybody else has stopped doing it. By not forgetting the art of the windmill, the Amish preserved for the rest of us a visual link with our own pre urbanized past.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful