Friday, January 22, 2010


more from Amish Peace

Gelassenheit is a foundational value in Amish society that has no direct English translation. The best way to understand its richness and its meaning, is through synonyms: yieldedness, humility, calmness, composure, meekness, aplomb, tranquility, imperturbability, serenity, poise, sedateness, letting go, the opposite of self-assertion, a gentle spirit, submitting to God's will.

Gelassenheit is caught, not taught. The very first thing Amish children learn is that there is always a higher authority to yield to--older siblings, parents and grandparents, the greater good of the community, and God.

Gelassenheit stresses humility over pride and esteems others above self. It means helping others, never doing it for brownie points, never trying to get something for yourself in return.

"Christ is the best example of Gelassenheit. He provided the ultimate example of it when He, the Creator, yielded his life for the created."
Painting above is by Susie Riehl, her story is also in the book.

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