Exploring Amish Traditions: The Surprising Truth about Mirrors

Exploring Amish Traditions: The Surprising Truth about Mirrors

Ever wondered about the lifestyle of the Amish? It’s a world far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life. One question that often comes up is, “Are Amish allowed to have mirrors?”

The Amish lead simple lives, governed by a strict set of rules known as the Ordnung. These rules dictate many aspects of their day-to-day lives, including the use of technology and personal grooming. But where do mirrors fall in this spectrum?

In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of the Amish and their unique customs. We’ll explore the role of mirrors in their society, and whether they’re considered a necessity or a luxury. It’s a journey into a different way of life, so get ready for an enlightening experience.

Key Takeaways

  • The Amish way of life is highly regulated by the Ordnung, a strict set of unwritten rules that govern every aspect of their daily life, promoting a lifestyle of simplicity and humility across the community.
  • Mirrors are not commonly found in Amish homes. This is because their use is seen as promoting vanity, a trait strongly discouraged by the Amish belief system, which values modesty, humility, and simplicity.
  • The absence of mirrors does not mean a lack of cleanliness among the Amish. They maintain personal cleanliness and grooming through innovative methods, such as using natural reflections in water and following traditional communal bathing practices.
  • The Amish life starkly contrasts with mainstream society, valuing community, simplicity, and humility over technological progress and individualism. This includes the rejection of modern conveniences such as cars and electricity.
  • From an outsider’s perspective, the Ordnung provides an insightful look into a world where simplicity reigns over complexity and unity triumphs over individualism. It highlights their resistance to societal pressures and their resilience in maintaining their unique lifestyle.
  • The values and norms of the Amish community, including their attitudes towards everyday objects such as mirrors, challenge our conventional understanding and offer a fresh perspective on life and cultural significance.

The Amish community’s unique approach to life, including their use of mirrors, reflects a deep commitment to simplicity and humility. Mirrors are rarely found in Amish homes as they are believed to encourage vanity, which is contrary to their values. For those interested in learning more about Amish lifestyle and beliefs, further reading can be found at Discover Lancaster, providing insights into their religious traditions, Britannica’s detailed overview of Amish beliefs and way of life.

Exploring Amish Lifestyle

Exploring Amish Lifestyle

When you immerse yourself in the world of the Amish, you’ll find a lifestyle that places a premium on traditional values, simplicity, and community ties. This starkly contrasts what you’d find in mainstream society, focusing instead on technology-driven lives.

Now let’s unravel the age-old customs and values in the Amish society which continues to stand the test of time. A significant part of their life revolves around a set of unwritten rules known as the Ordnung. As an Amish, your life is dictated by these rules, from your dress code to the design of your carriage.

Interestingly, the strict observance of the Ordnung has led to some unique practices. For instance, the Ordnung restricts modern conveniences, such as cars and electricity, to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Truly, the lifestyle of the Amish challenges our understanding of satisfaction and necessity.

Another key highlight of the Amish culture is their refusal to own or use mirrors. Yes, you read it right, mirrors! You might wonder why this is the case. The answer lies in their belief system which encourages modesty and avoiding vanity. As mirrors could potentially breed vanity, they are considered unnecessary in Amish homes.

So, do the Amish ever look at themselves? You might be surprised to know that they do get glimpses of their reflection – through water or other reflective surfaces. But remember, their goal isn’t to check their appearance but rather to ensure cleanliness.

As you dive into the unique customs of the Amish, it becomes evident that their way of life is guided by a focus on community, simplicity, and humility. Their adherence to the Ordnung, rejection of modern conveniences and shunning of mirrors starkly contrasts mainstream society, serving as a reminder of different facets of living in the world today.

Understanding the Ordnung

Dive into the heart of the Amish belief system: The Ordnung. It’s not a rulebook you’d find lying around in an Amish household. Instead, it’s an unwritten code of conduct, passed down through generations. It’s shared verbally to each member of the community, promoting a lifestyle steeped in simplicity and humility.

The Ordnung not only pertains to rejection of worldly luxuries, such as cars and electricity, in favor of horse-drawn buggies and candlelight. More than that, it’s about fostering togetherness, strengthening community ties, and maintaining authentic connections among the Amish. This communal spirit that the Ordnung espouses is infrequently seen in mainstream society, making the Amish a fascinating focus of study.

One of the main features within the Ordnung is the rejection of personal vanity, which extends to restrictions on using mirrors. Aren’t mirrors essential to cleanliness? You might wonder – but for the Amish, this too is governed by their unwavering spirit of humility. They find innovative methods to maintain cleanliness, relying on glimpses of reflection in water and other surfaces. It’s a testament to their commitment to modesty and living without vanity.

Don’t mistake the Ordnung as a harsh set of rules. To the Amish, it’s a tried and true framework that shapes their lives, fostering their unique traditions, and building strong communal bonds. It’s a significant facet of Amish life, echoing far beyond the confines of their homes and into the broader community.

As you delve deeper into the Ordnung, you’ll realize it’s not just about following a set of norms. It’s a guidepost, shaping day-to-day interactions, defining ideals, and mirroring the values of the Amish community, free from the shackles of societal pressures. The Ordnung’s robustness stems from this collective identity, from which the Amish draw the strength to maintain their distinctive way of life.

From an outsider’s perspective, the Ordnung offers a look into a world where simplicity rules over complexity and unity wins over individualism. The Ordnung is resistance, resilience, and the pillar of an enduring community life.

The Role of Mirrors in Amish Society

Diving deeper into the Amish way of life, a question arises: Are Amish allowed to use mirrors? The Amish adhere to a stringent lifestyle guided by their unwritten code of ethics, known as the Ordnung, which reflects the practices within their houses much like the phases of the sun govern the day. Now, you may wonder, why would something as simple as a mirror be a topic of consideration?

Well, the primary reason lies in the Ordnung’s focus on humility and abstinence from vanity. Mirrors in the Amish community are not seen as tools of convenience, like they are in mainstream society – they are considered provocations towards vanity. For the Amish, it’s not about improving one’s appearance for societal standards but living in humility and simplicity, shunning the mirrors not unlike how one might avoid indulging too deeply into astrology, focusing instead on what is tangible and immediate.

However, the lack of mirrors doesn’t mean that the Amish disregard cleanliness or personal grooming. Rather, they follow innovative methods backed by centuries of tradition and medicine, ensuring health and hygiene through natural remedies and communal care. For instance, they have a unique ritual of communal bathing, where every member of the family is responsible for ensuring their cleanliness, much like a team in soccer where each player has a role to play for the success of the whole.

It’s quite fascinating that the Amish, amidst the humble, tranquil life of their farms, show a certain way of life that could challenge our conventional understanding. The role of mirrors in Amish society showcases their integrated values of humility, simplicity, and unity, offering a profound insight into their way of life. You may begin to question not just the role of mirrors, but also the several elements of everyday life that we take for granted. After all, is it not interesting how objects of daily use carry such different connotations across cultures, from the practicality of houses and the natural cycle of the sun to the communal spirit of soccer, the mysteries of astrology, and the healing powers of medicine?

In the upcoming section, we’ll explore other everyday elements and their unexpected significance in the Amish community.

Perceptions of Mirrors Among the Amish

Perceptions of Mirrors Among the Amish

When you examine the Amish perspective on mirrors, you’ll find that it is deeply rooted in their unwritten code of conduct known as the Ordnung. The Ordnung’s principles emphasize humility and simplicity, and the usage of mirrors is often regarded as promoting vanity – a trait not encouraged within the community.

Bear in mind, your idea of a mirror’s purpose – to check one’s appearance before going out, to adjust a tie, to style hair – isn’t what matters in the Amish community. Instead of focusing on external appearances, they place a high value on internal virtues.

But what about personal grooming? Don’t they need mirrors for that?

You may ask this question and the answer is, decidedly, no. In the absence of mirrors, traditional communal bathing practices become ever important in the Amish society. The Amish are keen on personal cleanliness and grooming, but they approach it from a communal and practical standpoint.

Remember, considerations such as these offer thought-provoking insights into the Amish way of life. It makes us reflect on our dependence on everyday objects and the cultural significance we attach to them. So the next time you glance at a mirror, recall the Amish way – simplicity, cleanliness, and humility over vanity. This could give you a fresh perspective on what you see reflecting back at you.


So you’ve navigated the intriguing world of the Amish and their views on mirrors. It’s clear that their choice to shun mirrors isn’t about rejecting modern conveniences, but about embracing humility and simplicity. This practice underlines their commitment to prioritizing internal virtues over external appearances. It’s a stark contrast to societal norms, challenging us to reconsider the cultural significance of everyday objects. The Amish lifestyle, with its focus on simplicity, cleanliness, and humility, offers a unique lens through which to view the world. It’s an invitation to reflect on our own values and the objects we deem essential. As you move forward, you might find yourself looking at your own mirror a little differently.

1. Why don’t the Amish use mirrors?

The Amish abstain from using mirrors as it is seen as promoting vanity, which contradicts their Ordnung principles of humility and simplicity.

2. How do the Amish maintain personal grooming without mirrors?

The Amish prioritize internal virtues over external appearances. Nonetheless, personal cleanliness is maintained through communal bathing practices.

3. What values are highlighted by the Amish perspective on mirrors?

The Amish perspective on mirrors primarily showcases their values of simplicity, cleanliness, and humility.

4. How does the Amish view on mirrors challenge societal norms?

The decision to forgo mirrors encourages a re-evaluation of societal norms, challenging the cultural significance and necessity of mirrors in personal grooming and self-awareness.

5. What insights can be obtained from the Amish way of life?

Exploring the Amish way of life, especially their views on everyday objects like mirrors, offers fresh insights into different ways of living. It encourages reflection on our own societal norms and practices.