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And now for something completely different... 100% Contentment...

Was just watching Oprah, she and a friend did a roadtrip across America, and on one of the days they stopped and spent some time with an Amish family. She was questioning them about their life and why they chose their live; what it for religious reasons or some other reason. This farmer and his wife said it wasn't actually for religious reason, but to live seperately from society. He also said he was 100% content with his life.

This made me think, Oprah was saying she had never met anyone before who could say they were 100% content with their life. The farmer's wife said, they also chose to be content, to make themselves feel content. This really resonated with me. It is that part of the Law of Attraction that I sometimes feel many people don't get. Contentment isn't about never having to struggle, or having everything easy.

In a way, in our society we work hard at making things easier. Streamlining our lives, creating 3 step cooking of meals, or machines that do our work for us (washing machines, computers, cars)... We aren't more content for it. We seem to have lost the ability to create contentment, to accept the good with the bad, and be happy.

Though it will never happen (for so many reasons), I've often thought how I'd like to be Amish, to live in a community of people who work together, who have strong social rules an a relatively hommogenus society and set of values. To just let go of our modern society and live seperately and focus on being part of a community where everyone understands the very need in humans to share the load.

Also, the talk came up about monogamy, about no premarrital sex, and about whether or not it was scary to imagine only have sex with one other person your entire life. The farmers wife said it was scary to think of having to have sex with several different partners in a lifetime - as though that was an expectation - but isn't it though, isn't that the whole idea of having sex before marriage, to see who you are compatible with - which requires you have someone to compare with right, so at least two partners. The farmer said there is no divorce, but also no adultery that he has ever been aware of. They said if you are having trouble in your marriage you are encouraged to work together to sort things out, and there is also counselling (I take it that would be through the church), but also it is accepted that when you get married it is for life.

So, basically, this lifestyle comes down to limited choices, but with limited choices comes contentment! In our society we have almost endless choice, but are we content? Am I content?

Comments

HipbubbyMama said…
That would have been really interesting! 've always been fascinated by the Amish. I couldn't think of anything worse than having to live in such a way and have my choices stripped away-then I've been brought up with choices. To an Amish child brought up in it their whole life it wouldn't be odd. Mind you did they show the whole coming of age ritual the Amish have? There was a doco made on it. They let the kids loose in the world to see if they really want to continue being Amish. I respect them for letting the kids make that choice-but it's a pretty harsh one. They can party hard, do completely un-Amish things for a set amount of time, then when it's over they have to make a choice. They can go back, and embrace the Amish way of life completely, which means renouncing all their newly discovered 'sinful' ways, or they can choose to stay in the world, which means excommunication from the church and no further contact with their family. So two VERY limited choices there-I don't neccessarily think this would always bring about contentment. I'm sure many Amish are happy to go back, and embrace the whole way of life, the outside world would feel very scary I would imagine for them. Yet for others I think this taste of freedom could open new horizons for them-what a pity they aren't allowed to decide to live a different life without the prospect of being cut off from their family for good :(
Sif said…
Yes, I saw that doco at the Melbourne International Film Festival a few years back (I think it was the same year I saw "Hellhouse", gawd that was a good year for films!)...

I totally agree, it's kind of a hard decision to put on kids who are just getting through their teens (between 16 and 18 I think they are)... To make a decision that will permanently affect the rest of their lives. I can also see how that decision is slanted toward putting the kids in a situation of choosing the devil they know over the one they don't... In the long run, it's easier to choose to stay with your family in a supportive community, even if your heart longs to experience other stuff, just because it's feels familiar and safe...

But still, I suppose I'm looking at this from an adult perspective, and one where living like this would be a choice having lived for a long time in the secular wider world... More than that, I think I'm enamoured with the idea of accepting life and choosing contentment over also looking for greener grass, I guess - for me anyway... I think this is something that has played on my mind about myself for a long time, that perhaps I choose malcontentment over contentment because I'm afraid of "missing out"... (not that I'm malcontent all the time, I'm not, I have many moments on contentment, but certainly not 100%)

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