“Don’t feel sorry for us, no,” John says with a chuckle. “We’re having a good life.”
In this video I interview John Esh. John lives in Nittany Valley in central Pennsylvania and runs the Goot Essa cheese & food company.
John sat down for a longer conversation with me a week or so ago. I’ll be posting that full video soon. But in the meantime, here is a short 3-4 minute excerpt, where I start by asking John “Is it hard being Amish?”
John goes on to explain how technology has proven a challenge, and why he wants his children to be equipped to understand both the value and the dangers of tech – even if they end up accepting more of it.
I’d say this is something that is likely, if only for the fact that each generation of Amish accepts at least a bit more tech than the previous one did. They’re intentionally lagging behind mainstream society, while measuring the impact of adopting new innovations – but not outright rejecting all of them.
As to the disruptive power of the internet, John compares it to an earlier piece of technology that his parents’ generation had to deal with. I won’t give away what the comparison is here, you’ll just have to check the vid (a little over halfway through).
He also describes what it was like when his family moved from Lancaster County into a new area in central Pennsylvania many years ago, and the response local non-Amish had – at first.
“Particularly when we moved into these valleys in the early 1970s, a lot of the natives where like, ‘What is coming here? These people are very backward…'”, John says of the non-Amish reaction.
“And then as we learned to know each other, and they became involved with us, we became involved in the general community, they saw you know, in a lot of ways they are no different than we are.”
I hope you enjoy the video and check out Goot Essa’s cheese gift baskets for the holidays here.