Seifert Column: Listen to this Amish Lesson

Posted on by in Amish Blog

The following blog comments were by Ken Seifert from Andover, MA (

“Since 1990 I have been very fortunate to have become good friends with an Amish family near Kinzers, PA. [Kinzers is about 10 miles east of Lancaster city.]

“Christ, pronounced Chris, is the father of 10 children and the bishop of his community, His wife, Elsie, is the wonderful model of what a wife, mother and grandmother should be.

“On one of my visits I had the opportunity to share a conversation with Christ on the serenity and quietness of most Amish people I had observed. He is a very humble man and it was quite difficult to get him to talk about himself. I asked if he could tell me the reason for such characteristics…. He began by telling me there was a good reason why God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Yes, one should listen twice as much as one speaks. Then he gave me his blueprint for listening to people. When he meets people for the first time, he listens to whether the person is telling, sharing, questioning or just talking. I asked what does “just talking” mean. He said that is when a person is using words but saying nothing….. Christ said if a person is sharing and questioning then they are usually very nice people. If they are telling and talking then they probably have issues. He then cautioned me that one should be patient and see if there is a pattern to the way a person communicates. If however the person is a teller and a talker, then he gives them common courtesy. He would rather spend time with a sharer and questioner.

“I have applied the model many times since the revelation, and must say his observation about people by what and how they speak is right on the money…. As a devoted family man and one who recognizes the importance of community, I can say my association with that special Amish family has been life-altering.”