Fasting at a shrine
One good deed is better than three days fasting at a shrine. A Japanese saying
Our interpretation of quotations is very much influenced by what we already believe. Quotations are unlikely to change our minds. If they don't reinforce or at least support what we already "know," then we tend to ignore them. However, a quotation can occasionally put a new perspective on our opinions.
I found the above Japanese proverb to encapsulate many of the things I hold to be true. Some of the things it says to me are:
- Religious practice is far less important than the way we live our lives.
- Good works, not faith
- Other people's needs have priority over the perceived requirements of the gods
- Live life for this life, not for a supposed afterlife.
- What we do matters more than what we believe.
What does it say to you?