Amish Lifestyle vs Modern-Day Lifestyle

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Imagine a life without modern technology: no cars, televisions, internet; a life without tools one uses every day. Imagine a world where instead one drives buggies and knits for entertainment, a world so cut off that it seems stuck in time. Although it may be hard to believe, the Amish live what would be considered a modern-day taboo. They feel that through these limitations humility will be reached; that through remaining separate from the rest of the world, both physically and socially, they will be brought closer to their faith. The Amish have a strong mindset that association with those outside their culture (often called “the English”) will cause pollution to their ideals. However, once an Amish child reaches the age of sixteen, they are permitted to experience the “English” lifestyle, often called “Rumspringa,” that their elders have been so against. Though there may seem defined lines between the Amish and the English, following teens through their stage of Rumpsringa blurs these lines, making one question which values are different between the two cultures. The Amish’s practices and beliefs are based on the Mennonite religion. Led by Jacob Amman, they started as radical religious libertarians within the religion wishing to restore Mennonite traditional values. Unsuccessful and disappointed, the reform group split off completely, becoming Anabaptists. This belief holds that a baby cannot make the decision to be one with God and will not be able to until they reach adulthood, which most Amish consider to be twenty-one.

During Rumspringa, Amish teens deal with problems associated with the outside world. They sample the life that exists beyond their small community, many of them experimenting with drugs, sex, and alcohol. The Amish permit this interaction between their adolescents and mainstream culture because they believe that proper upbringing will lead most teens to being baptized within the church. As technology continues to improve, various...
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