Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Playin' People vs the Plain People

Just across the state line into Pennsylvania, one finds oneself in "Amish Country," a peaceful land where the Amish dwell and wish that people would leave them the heck alone.  

Descendants of German and Swiss-German heritage, they try their best to blend with the people with whom they share Lancaster County PA and other enclaves around the country, e.g. New York state and Ohio.  They don't use electricity or operate machinery, but they do pay taxes like everyone else and are entitled to use the roads like everyone else.

When you're up in their part of the woods, as Mr Al Roker would say, you see how they cooperate.  No, they are not driving the kids to school in a humongous SUV.  Their kids walk to school or ride non-mechanical gliding scooters, so they get their day started without watching Sponge Bob or anything.  But when they are on the roads, they do their best to have their horse and buggy off to the right so cars may pass on the left.

Sad to say, every now and then, someone is in a big hurry to get somewhere because they are very important and the world revolves around them, so there are crashes between car and buggy rigs.  It happened just the other day; people were injured and the horse had to be put down.  

Tell me you wouldn't love to ride in this.
There were the usual comments from people unwilling to let the Amish live as they see fit.  "They need to get outta my way!" was the theme of the comments, although most people who followed up said that they were sorry for the loss of the horse and how regrettable it is that people often act like the south end of a northbound horse. 

Every now and again I read what someone writes about how their life is crazy, how rushed they are, how their tablet, smart phone or computer is on the fritz, and I think of the times Peggy and I have been in Lancaster, enjoying the slow pace, the wonderful food, the kindness and decency of people who want to be left alone while still wishing you the best of everything, and I wonder just which society is the more advanced.

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