16 responses to Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom
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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (January 12th, 2015 at 08:25)

    I thought this was very interesting & well done. Most of what I know about Steering Committee meetings comes from “reports” shared by our bishop after such meetings. He will tell us what was discussed & decided. Sometimes there are photocopies of minutes passed out or reports printed in “Die Botschaft” about the meetings.

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      Tom Geist
      Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (January 12th, 2015 at 12:04)

      Hey Mark,

      You could email me the answer to what I am about to ask or reply here to everyone that is wondering like I am.

      You sound like you are active Amish and yet you use the computer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think you give us English a lot to think about but I wonder what I am missing.

      Thanks…. Tom in Lincoln

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        Mark – Holmes Co.
        Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (January 12th, 2015 at 12:31)

        Hi Tom,
        That’s a sensible question! I am a member in an Old Order Amish church. I work in a public place and since this business is not Amish owned, we do have electricity, phones, FAX, computers with internet, email, etc. (though our computers run with an accountability program so we can’t just go browsing around the internet.) I spend much of my day in an office and this is where the computer comes in. Since learning how to operate a computer and about Amish America, I like to keep my email tab open so notices of new posts show up there.
        I also make use of the computers at our local library like many other Amish people in our area.
        We do not have electricity or internet at home, but I do use a DeskMate word processor that also uses some of the same programs my computer at work uses (Microsoft Word & Excel.) I like that because I can carry work home and sometimes work at home in the cold months. I do a LOT of writing. 🙂 My WP at home runs off an inverter that is powered by a bank of 12 volt batteries that are recharged by solar or generator. Obviously our group is not as traditional as groups like the Swarztentrubers.
        In our area it is not unusual to find Amish people using computers for work. The bank in Berlin employs Amish tellers, the big Keim Lumber store has a large number of Amish employees and some of those spend their days on computers also. Then there is J&M Computer Services & Repair in Winesburg that might be the only computer business that has Amish employees.
        There’s no doubt about it, computers are having an impact on our community and way of life. It brings benefits, but also a lot of issues we would not have thought of ten years ago.

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      George Moore
      Comment on Mark (Holmes County) (January 14th, 2015 at 17:40)

      Mark (Holmes County)

      I have a question for you that I would like to ask you privately if you could email me that would be greatly appreciated. My email is gmoore.gm94@gmail.com

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    Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (January 12th, 2015 at 10:40)

    I was unaware of there being such a steering committee. This was interesting — thanks for sharing this.

    But it was a different little tidbit that really struck me as I read. In reading the comment that the Amish are “active listeners,” I find that you have put a label on an abstract feeling that I have felt while talking with many of the Amish. I know it is not fair to say either “all English are…” or “all Amish are…,” but I think it is fair to say that my discussions with various Amish leave me feeling a greater interest in me and what I have to say than I have found in similar situations with the English. The Amish seem less mentally distracted by their to-do list, or can’t give attention to what you are saying now because they are chomping at the bits to be able to say what they want to talk about next. For all the “work ethic” that seems to demand hard work from/by the Amish, even those high demands are momentarily trumped when it comes to giving genuine attention to others.

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      Jim Cates
      Comment on Active Listeners (January 12th, 2015 at 18:14)

      Active Listeners


      The Amish ability to “attend” in a different way than we do is probably worthy of a post in itself (although I haven’t even thought of one yet!). I think in part they are simply more attuned to their environment than we are. Example – I took a photo of a buggy in downtown Shipshewana for a presentation. In an attempt to be respectful one sees the buggy from behind, can’t see the horse, and very little of the side. An Amish friend immediately identifed whose buggy it was based on a “ding” that wasn’t even noticeable to me! To some extent, that same emphasis on attention and focus seems to carry over into dialogue. Not always “conversation;” I find they can be as rowdy and step on each other’s words in an excited get-together as much as anyone else. But in a serious dialogue? There is an intensity – and interest – that I don’t find as often among the English (outside counseling sessions). Your observation may come back in a few months in a full-length post – who knows!

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on I'm awake! (January 12th, 2015 at 20:47)

    I'm awake!

    I’ve seen the Steering Committee mentioned in this blog as well as by reading other non-fiction accounts of Amish life & history, but I never knew how important and “separate” (from the religious aspect of Amish life) it was, and what they took care of, and how. Thank you for awakening me to a side of Amish life I didn’t pay much attention to before! How interesting!

    Alice Mary

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    Al in Ky
    Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (January 13th, 2015 at 07:29)

    Thanks for this post that included information about the National Steering Committee. I often read in local scribe’s letters in The Budget mentioning “so and so” went to the National Steering Committee meeting. This post helped me learn more about what the steering committee is and what it does.

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    Kevin L.
    Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (January 13th, 2015 at 07:41)

    Its interesting that the past 2 issues of “The Connection” had a report from the Steering committee, which I found very interesting. I was ot familiar with it before then

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    Al in Ky
    Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (February 1st, 2015 at 15:35)

    I read some interesting information in the Jan. 28 issue of The Budget. In The Editors Corner of the paper on p. 2 was an article entitled, “To the Amish Community Regarding Health Care.” It was
    written by The Amish Medical Ethics Steering Committee. I would like to learn more about this committee. The eight members who signed the article all have Ohio towns listed as their hometowns,
    such as Sugarcreek, Mt. Eaton, Charm, etc., but also two listed Homerville which I believe is a Swartzentruber settlement. This article has a lot of content focused on four main points: 1.Provide Open and Honest Communication 2. Get Second Opinions Respectfully. 3. Be Respectful When Things Go Wrong 4. Extended Family is Important. Erik, do you or any Amish America readers know
    anything about this committee?

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      Comment on Amish Medical Ethics Steering Committee (February 2nd, 2015 at 10:29)

      Amish Medical Ethics Steering Committee

      Al that is really interesting. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen reference to an Amish Medical Ethics Steering Committee. There is a largish Swartzentruber settlement at Homerville as you surmise.

      This committee may be operating with the fact in mind that in some places Amish negotiate payment terms with hospitals directly on behalf of all the members in a community, and with concern that “PR” and the reputation of Amish patients remains positive.

      Just a guess based on points 2 and 3 especially. If anyone else knows about this I too would be interested to know.

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      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Comment on Jim Cates: How Amish Solve Problems–Outside the Courtroom (February 3rd, 2015 at 10:14)

      Yes, I know about this committee. Notices from them were included with the last Health Care Update package we received and in the last Gemeinde Register there were some guidelines printed that they put together. The idea is to keep the community informed of what is expected of us by both the hospitals and the Church Fund guidelines. Does that help?

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