Q: The Quintessential Quest for Quakers

The below picture is NOT of Quakers.  It’s of Amish.   Not the same, but Amish doesn’t start with Q and most Quakers can’t be picked out of a crowd based on their dress.  My bad.  Being original with Q was difficult! 


Here in Pennsylvania, there are many small towns and countryside communities that are populated by Amish.  Tourists and visitors seem to be fascinated by them…and I sort of am, too. 

As many of the comments on yesterday’s post confirmed, we’re living at a time when people are completely overwhelmed with choice.  Combine that with rapidly advancing technology that allows us to have this conversation via blog, yet never see our neighbors face-to-face, and life can seem to wiz by at noisy, swift, disconnected pace.

You might wonder…would a different, more simple lifestyle make me less stressed?… happier?…more appreciative?  Would it put my mind at peace?

The Amish represent simplicity and old-fashioned living.  Their communities are tight, with neighbor helping neighbor.  Family members share the same values, beliefs, and morals.  They don’t worry about the latest fashion trends, gas prices, or whether the Internet is down for maintenance.  Heck, they don’t even have to be concerned about gas prices.

If you’re looking for a simpler, less complicated life, there’s no need to trade in your car for a horse and buggy.  You don’t have to make our own clothes or milk your own cow.  Instead, simply take the time to question the pace of your life.  Is it too fast?   Are your days filled with meaning, or are they just consumed by a bunch of noise?

Is your life moving by at lightening speed?  What can you do to slow things down?

20 responses to this post.

  1. We need to catch our breath. But in today’s world where you need about 40 hours a day to do what needs to be done in 24, how can you?


  2. Posted by 1959duke on April 20, 2011 at 5:24 am

    There are ways that make you slow down whether you like it or not.


  3. Here in Pennsylvania, there are many small towns and countryside communities that are populated by Amish. Tourists and visitors seem to be fascinated by them…and I sort of am, too.”

    Being a fellow-Pennsylvanian like you, I too am fascinated by the Amish. There is a part of me that truly admires their simple, old-fashioned living. We have a farmers market here in Center City that has a lot of Amish produced foods and crafts. I will often purchase their products because they’re made with such care. Lovely people, the Amish.

    Yes, my life often moves at lightening speed. Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed, I know it’s time to head out into the country to decompress and chill.

    Happy Wednesday, Tracy!


    • At first, I thought you said out OF the country instead of INTO the country. To us Pittsburgers, Philly IS another country. Tee hee. Happy Wednesday back at you Ron!


  4. It used to be, Tracy. However, much has changed over the past two years. It’s been quite the adjustment to slow down, but I’m finally preferring it over the rat race kind of way I used to live.

    If I had to write on ‘Q’ I might have chosen to discuss my impatience in waiting in Ques. Unfortunately cue start with a ‘C’, but I’ve never been fabulous at pool anyway. So is the name of the company that I did a television presenter course through: On Cue. So you can take your Q from me: you didn’t do half bad. Well done! 🙂

    P.S. Do the Amish use computers? Otherwise I don’t think I would survive haha 😉


    • I’d love to hear more about your transition.

      I’m not an expert on the Amish way of life, but from what I know, they do use computers at work, and sometimes at home. When a new technology is unvieled (from cell phones to computers to farm equipment – whatever) the Amish will not jump into using it until they evaluate it first and look at its impact (good and bad) on both the community and the individual person. So, in a way, they’re selective about what they use and how they use it, so that it has positive impacts. Again, I’m no expert.


  5. Slowing down is very likely a good change for most of us. If life requires too much of us, it could be that we are engaged in more endeavors than we should be. Blessings to you, Tracy…


    • I agree, many people are simply over-committed. Finding the right balance is different for everyone. Blessings back to you Carol Ann.


  6. Great Q post.
    I agree–simplifying is very appealing. Maybe those Amish know a thing or two. Society could take a lesson– at least about community and family.


  7. Posted by Rae on April 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    My life seems to be moving faster the older I get. I remember when summer vacation from school seemed like forever! And sometimes when I try to remember parts of my past, it seems so far away…I am on the path to simplifying…and it is a special kind of peace.


    • So true. To a kid, a summer was a high % of their lifetime to-date. To us adults, the older we get, the smaller that % becomes. Best to you on the path to simplification!


  8. The thing that would kill me about being Amish is having to give up buttons and zippers (the strictest Amish don’t use them, they fasten their clothing with straight pins. With my manual dexterity, or lack thereof, I’d walk around looking like a murder victim.)

    As a former Yorkian, this was like a blast from the past, thanks!

    You could have put up a picture of Richard Nixon – he was raised a Quaker. As they say, there are wonderful, terrible, and somewhere-in-between people in any group of people.


    • “With my manual dexterity, or lack thereof, I’d walk around looking like a murder victim.” Hahahahaha – that so made me laugh outloud.

      You are from York – how interesting! Being in the “middle” did you lean more towards Pittsburgh or Philly?


  9. I guess that’s simpler…but washing clothes by hand and cooking everything from scratch seems harder to me! I know our lives are noisier but I like how easy some of the modern conveniences have made our lives.


    • Hi Stephanie! I remember watching a TV show called Pioneer Family (or something like that) where modern families had to live like the pioneers. Life is surely easier with all of the modern advances, but also much faster-paced. I think the key is using advancements to our advantage and making the best use of the extra time they give us in our lives.


  10. How clever to cover the alphabet. If I had to find something for Q I would have chosen Queues. I am English and I think we invented queues.
    Loved the post. I am trying to make life more simple. Downsized my house; got rid of heaps of things that I no longer needed (no choice there) and am spending more time doing things I love.
    I will come back to read the rest of the alphabet.


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