I read an interesting article today in which a man described seeing an Amish family at a museum. The Amish of course are known for living lives of extreme simplicity out of religious conviction. Some Amish sects do not use any kind of modern inventions like a car, or even a tractor for agricultural work. Their dress is characteristically simple. The movie Witness featuring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis gives some insight into the culture of the Amish.
The man visiting the museum was rather amused when he noticed the Amish family all wearing Nike brand tennis shoes. The young Amish boy he observed was jamming to some tunes on his i-pod! The author made this point as a response to that encounter:
I thought it telling that these folks were still holding on to some of their values and tradition of avoiding the world, but at the same time they had succumbed to some “new world” ways. And there appeared to be no rhyme or reason to what they accepted and what they rejected.
His response was: If they have Nikes on today, their Gap jeans will soon be sliding halfway down their fannies…
He may very well be correct in his analysis. But I have a different take on his experience. It occurs to me that the Amish do not have a corner on the market when it comes to inconsistent behavior. We are ALL inconsistent.
I would like to think that I am compassionate and fully of mercy when someone is in crisis. But that is not entirely true. I encountered a situation today where I felt very little patience for a person who is in serious trouble. If the truth be known, I am inconsistent.
It is tempting to poke fun of an Amish boy listening to his i-pod as his head is bobbing to a Green Day song. He is an easy target. But it would be unwise for me to pick up any stones of judgment to throw at him. I too am inconsistent.
I am marking it down in my journal today: Think before judging. Inconsistent behavior is not limited to those I that I am inclined to pick on….