Can You Replace Judgment with Curiosity?

Last month, my husband and I went to Amish country for a quiet weekend getaway of riding our bikes, eating good food, and feeding my odd curiosity with the Amish and their way of life.

We rode our bikes on connector paths that are meant for buggies and bikes to get from town to town to avoid the busy road. As we passed Amish families on the path, my eyes widened like I had just seen aliens. We went to an Amish restaurant where non-Amish and Amish alike stood outside waiting for their tables.

My husband saw a young Amish couple sitting on a bench and told me we should go sit next to them. My heart started racing because yes, of course I want that! One of my biggest passions in life-- that I rarely get to enjoy-- is talking to people from other cultures. Although I was excited, I also am an introvert who gets nervous at the thought of just walking up to people and chatting.

As we talked with this couple, none of us made mention of our differences. We talked about the weather and riding bikes and how good the food is at the restaurant we were waiting to get a table at. My inner voice was telling me, "Don't ask about being Amish. Do NOT ask them if they like it or what it's like. Just listen and be normal."

And that's what I did. And it was so awesome to have a conversation with people who could not be more different than us, while uncovering how we're similar as well. Sidenote--this didn't stop me from being really dorky and overly friendly when I saw them again when they were seated at the table near us in the restaurant. I waved way too wildly for their sweet reserved nature, I'm sure.