I have talked about Amish in the past, but the Mennonites are interesting as well.
Mennonites are like the Amish but are willing to use more technology than Amish. I grew up with someone who was a mennonite and it was interesting. He had a fairly simple life, but I found his value system to be atypical of what I understand most Amish/Mennonite values are.
It was part of this experience that made me more curious about Amish. I never had the chance where I grew up to know Amish people, but when I was older I wanted to discover who they were. So I did some research on the Internet and watched videos and read articles, and tried to learn what I could. Then I visited with them, and it brought many of those concepts to life.
People are individuals. My friend was not an example of what mennonites should be. I am not judging him, but he said himself that he was not an example. When we judge a religion by meeting one individual, it is not fair or helpful. If I had judged his faith by him, I would have not been interested in learning more.
Many times in our lives the messenger has nothing to do with the validity of the message. Too often we get stuck on the way the message is delivered, rather than on the truth of what we hear.
One of the things that I have learned in life is that many times the people who have the truth are not beating it over my head. Advertising beats into us the message to buy. Yet, equally true we have many or more reasons not to buy. Who do we listen to? The thoughtful friend or advisor who shows by example that wealth doesn’t create happiness.
It is crazy isn’t it? We listen to people who don’t have our best interests at heart. Isn’t that crazy?