In the free time that I've had in the past few weeks I've watched a program that I've taped called 'Living With the Amish', and it has been truly eye opening. There is a teenager on the progrom from England that I have felt I can partially relate to -- he is heavily educated at Eton and has enormous pressure on him to succeed, which is more my scenario than the others, who seem to have been chosen simply because they don't represent the best of English youth -- so it has been great to see them from his eyes as well.
Basically, the Amish for the most part live as though technology doesn't exist. They hand make all of their clothes, they work the farm by hand (not a hard and fast rule, but some of them do), and they drive around in horses and carts. They do use dollars, but I presume they don't need to apply complex economics to anything. And while on the face of it you might reel in horror at the thought of living without say, electricity, these people are the happiest group of people that I have ever seen. It may be that I have a hidden side where I actually love getting in the dirt and working a hard day, but it has made me think on numerous occasions that living with the Amish actually wouldn't be so bad.
It has been interesting to watch something like Living With the Amish at a time when my university workload has been dialled up to maximum. I yearn for that simple life, where you can take things on face value and the amount of money you bring home depends on how hard you work, not on the relative demand for your work (these things are intrinsically linked, but in reality they are far apart sometimes). I yearn for the simple life, but I'm propelling myself into certainly not an easy profession to either get into or stay in. In the name of passion? Passion may yet prove to be the most dangerous fuel.