Wily as a coyote (fourcorners) wrote in thequestionclub,
Wily as a coyote
fourcorners
thequestionclub

Amish hypothetical

Let's say you were a young Amish teen. Your whole life up this point was focused on family, tradition, morality, labor, practicality, etc. You live in a fairly tight community, all bound by the small town lifestyle. Now, Amish tradition says that when a person reaches the age 18 (or somewhere around there), they're allowed to go into the city (ie, the outside world) and explore the rest of the world, for one has to choose to be Amish, and without understanding what you'd be giving up, it wouldn't be fair. So you're 18 and have a free pass to go into the city and see how the other half lives. You've seen cars drive by, but never seen so many before. Skyscrapers, movie theatres, fast food joints, megaplex store outlets. The works. It's all new, and you're both excited and frightened. You were raised in a moral, conservative environment, and that doesn't seem to relate too well here. But, if you're male, there's lots of attractive women who aren't wearing bonnets and knee-length dresses. If you're female, lots of attractive men without beards who dress nicely. Everywhere, there's nice clothes made of soft materials you've never seen, in colors you've never seen. There's sights and sounds and smells that are foreign but appealing.

Now, seeing what lies beyond the Amish borders, would you go back? Pandora's box has been opened. Things to consider:
-you have no money, marketable skills or experience. Once your 'mad Amish money' runs out, you'll be homeless
-everybody you know is back at home. Friends, family. You'll never see them again, most likely. They'll not want you coming around if you've strayed from the faith and are not repentant

Remember, you're Amish. You don't have the upbringing you have now, so you have to put yourself in their shoes. You go from familiar, comfortable routine in a small town to unpredictable, strange, exciting but disorienting experiences in a space larger than you can imagine. So, would you go back?
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