People sometimes pity the Amish, thinking that since they do not have a chance to go to university, they must live miserable lives.  Not to mention:  no car, no internet, no makeup, no golf.

But maybe it depends a bit on what you value.

If you value things like unrestricted choice, education, wealth, and consumption above all else, then yes, Amish life might not look so hot.

Amish_girls_walking_1

But if you put things like family, community, sense of identity, and spirituality first, it’s not difficult to see why 80-90% of Amish youth choose to join their parents’ chuch.

So people have different systems of values.  But what about happiness?

Are the Amish happier, on the whole?

Possibly.

One study puts Amish suicide at less than half the non-Amish rate.

Depression levels are low compared to the general population.

Amish women have exhibited high levels of contentment in studies carried out in communities such as Holmes County.

Some individuals, of course, struggle.  But generally, Amish enjoy security of community and a strong sense of identity.

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