I had the privilege of attending an auction here in Southern Maryland put on by the local Amish population. We are not at all like Lancaster Pa----thank goodness---and work quite hard to keep the outside world away from these families. We support them in a way they respect by employing them as builders and buy their products from fresh produce to quilts. Many people do not even realize there is a considerable population that lives here. We all know they live without many of our modern conveniences.
I spent all day there yesterday feasting my eyes on their quilts and other products that were auctioned off. The prices were much lower this year due to our economy I am to assume. There were just as many buyers there as previous years.
But the very best part of this day is watching and talking to these families. I am a quilter myself so it is easy to strike up a conversation about a common love and passion. They use the proceeds of this day to pay their medical bills as they do not have insurance. They accept NO government assistance in any way and take care of their own. All children born to these families are a gift from God. If one is born less than perfect, she is accepted and raised by the family. They do not clamor for special education, buildings to be rebuilt to accommodate her or a one on one aide paid for by the overburdened State or Federal government to follow her around in school. If she cannot attend the local school, she is taught what she can learn at home. The elders in their population have a place of honor for their knowledge and experience. They work until the day they die if that is at all possible. Retirement is a foreign concept to them. They would never want to be idle.
When we talked about making less money on their quilts and what to do….she answered I guess we will need to make more to sell next year. The whole family worked here making the day successful. Teens were helping their families as were the very young. There was no whining and complaining as the goal was to make money for their community. There was a huge amount of food to sell and it sells very well. They price things fairly and do not desire to gouge people.
When there is problem to be worked out, they do not have to consult blogs or news people who are actually more celebrities than news reporters or surf the internet to try to find some obscure fact. They talk in person and figure out how to fix it. Gas prices are of no concern to them as they use a horse and buggy. The byproduct of the horses is the valuable manure used to help grown their food. I doubt they even know the stock market has fallen as their money is kept in a savings account at the local bank.
There is very little complaining about much of anything. These are people of a great faith and do not question why certain things happen. They adjust their life to accommodate the happening and then work in into their lives. They waste no time wondering “WHY”. If it happened, it was meant to be.
They are excellent business people and are masters at figuring out ways to earn extra money. Their workmanship is highly sought after and their work ethic one of honor.
So, the question I wonder is---------who is better off today?