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Book Review of "Growing Up Amish"

June 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 209

Ira Wagler grew up in a world which we have heard of but know little about because the people of that world remain separate and don't always let us in. The Amish are a gentle people who we respect but wish we could be friends with.

In Maryland, my husband and I used to enjoy going to the Amish market on Saturdays to eat and shop. They were so pleasant and yet we knew that would be the only contact and that we could not be a part of their world. We would welcome them to ours but respect their belief system to remain separate.

As other individuals in the Amish culture, Ira struggled with the choice of whether to remain or to find his own way in the world. He came and went several times throughout his teen and young adult years.

We assume that anyone would prefer our world to a restrictive one yet it is difficult to leave behind family, friends and the only life you've ever known. The most difficult tenant of the Amish faith to understand is shunning. Toward the end of the story, a close friend led Ira to Christ. It was a life changing experience for him. However, when he made the decision to leave for the last time, the friend withdrew.

Leaving also carried heartache of a romance that could have been. At one time, Ira tried to resolve to staying and settling down with a nice girl. She had feelings for him but he knew deep down inside that he could not stay and would never ask her to leave. Even though it brought sadness for the young woman, it was for the best.

One story Ira shared was about a young boy who was bullied by the other children. This is a topic that we all know well in any culture. Years later, as an adult he committed suicide. That left an impression on Ira. It is an area each of us needs to address in our communities. We can teach our children to be kind to others and set the example by reaching out to those who need a tender touch.

We are glad to have Ira in our world and know that he still misses those who formed so much of his early childhood. Maybe one day we will figure things out together and find a way to share our experiences and still respect the differences.

Writing our stories is a good place to start.

Author, Laura Schroeder enjoys sharing her life experiences and encouraging others. If her articles have been helpful, you may contact her at Please make any comments family friendly.

Source: EzineArticles
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Book Review


Amish Culture


Ira Wagler


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