Thursday, July 29, 2004

AMISH IN THE CITY - YOU HAD ME ON 'RUMSPRINGA'

I am learning today that there has been a whole lot of hype about whether this show should have been made, or aired, or whatever .. but I never read that stuff. I wanted to watch it because I had seen a documentary on this rite of passage before and it interests me.

As the
show started, it looked so much like it had the makings of another BIG BROTHER; I was not sure where they were going to go with it. Then this group of Amish people arrived all together to be greeted by the city slickers. RUMSPRINGA FEATURES! It could be worse; they could have taken them to a recording of Jerry Springer!

Taking a very simplistic view of the show, I have to say I enjoyed it and I thought the Amish were totally cool. To me they appeared to be very in touch with their feelings and a lot more passionate about their lives than a number of the city slickers.

What stood out for me very quickly was how the “city haves” are of the attitude, I see it, and therefore I am entitled to it. There is no hint of privilege. They strutted around the house in what appeared to me as a way in which they were almost inspecting to see that it was good enough compared to what they had seen on other shows. In fact, I think they had a point of reference from other shows and if this had not met with their expectations, they would have demanded an extreme home makeover. Not an abundance of finesse!

The difference was glaringly obvious to me. The Amish had no expectation. They were only surprised and grateful. What a contrast – and they didn’t even know they were creating it!
I loved the way Mose worked through his near drowning incident. He knew what he needed to do to bring himself back towards himself and I think he showed tremendous strength of character sitting and reading his bible out aloud by himself. I wondered if any of the city slickers had any inkling of what it must have taken for him to lie down at their feet and let them shave his body. Again, I believe he showed tremendous strength of character and bravery doing that. One thing, Mose, not Mo or Moses, but Mose intrigues me. I found his box of inventions quite adorable and it was this childlike quality in all of them that made them so engaging for me.

Ruth’s reaction to the ocean made me feel envious in a way. She was a bold reminder of how we take the earth and her nature so for granted. I know this sounds real corny but this planet is really overwhelming in its beauty and the collective “we”, perfectly represented by the city slickers on the show, rarely stop to smell the roses. Ruth felt blessed to have the experience and Mose was totally humbled by it. Not bad for a day at the ocean.

Perhaps I am naive when it comes to the impact of these shows. Either way, I think these people have an interesting journey ahead of them and I look forward to seeing what transpires.

 
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