Posts Tagged ‘Amish’

I don't remember why I took this picture, but isn't it great?

Every once in awhile, I get the itch to do a little research. It seems most of what is represented for beards is the beard/mustache combo. This, of course, results in me getting the occasional question about why I don’t have a mustache or jokes about me sporting an Amish Metal look (which I may have started?). I decided to start looking online, and here’s what I found out. (more…)

As is the case in many societies, Amish adolescents may engage in rebellious behavior, resisting or defying parental norms. In many cultures, enforcement may be relaxed, and misbehavior tolerated or overlooked to a degree. A view of rumspringa has emerged in popular culture that this divergence from custom is an accepted part of adolescence or a rite of passage for Amish youth. Among the Amish who use this term, however, rumspringa simply refers to adolescence. – Wikipedia

I suppose that what comes to mind when I think of rumspringa is the pop culture view of being unleashed into the world for a time and experiencing secular society. ┬áThis weekend, I’ve been reviewing some old journals of mine as part of a personal project. They’re from my early twenties, and, as I read, I wonder how my life might have been different if I had taken a personal rumspringa.

Of course, most of my trouble (for lack of a better word) came not just from my “society” but from my own decisions in trying to be devoted. I think part of my problem is that I lacked a bad influence. I didn’t have a yin to my yang. I primarily hung out with people that had the same beliefs as me and then tried to be the best I could, which took me in a more extreme direction. I also had the extra pressure of being a leader at church, so I felt compelled to set a good example.

Even if I had taken a break from church, I’m not sure that my personal beliefs at the time would have allowed me much freedom from unnecessary guilt. Perhaps if I had gone away to college and experienced a new beginning things may have been different. Instead, I stayed in town with no great aspirations for college. Well, I take that back. I did want to go to seminary at some point, which would have taken me away but it wouldn’t have really put me in a different culture.

I suppose, based upon my personal experience, I would encourage kids that are graduating from high school to leave town to go to college if at all possible. It’d be a great way to find out who they are apart from the influences of their more impressionable years.