I just finished reading Amish Grace (by D. Kraybill, S Nolt and D. Weaver-Zercher). This is the account of the tragic killings of the ten Amish school children at Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania on October 2, 2006. This book attempts to explain the Amish people and their community of faith that would lead them to offer immediate and complete forgiveness to the killer and to embrace his family. It is a powerful testimony.
The book ends with this passage:
“The Amish have learned to live with limits. Indeed, they would argue that setting and respecting limits on almost everything is one of the foundations of wisdom. Limits, for the Amish, are a necessary requirement for human happiness. Without limits, the Amish believe, individuals become arrogant, conceited, and self-destructive. To be sure, restraints diminish individual freedom, personal choices, and various forms of self-expression. At the same time, some would say, they grant greater dignity and security to the individual than the endless choices afforded by modern life. To the Amish way of thinking, a respect for limits builds community, brings a sense of belonging, and shapes identity – three important keys to human satisfaction and happiness.”
I wonder if living with limits is what we are really striving for when we try to “Simplify” our lives. Maybe, it’s as simple as putting some limits on ourselves and our desires and in the process finding out that there is more satisfaction and happiness to life when we do.
Time for a second cup of coffee and some pondering of personal boundaries for this day.