As the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea draw to a close, it seemed appropriate that today’s Foto Friday would feature this pic. Do you know what it is? Do you know the critical life lesson associated with this pic?
Be sure to click the pic for the full effect!
These are paper lanterns and this pic was taken at the Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju, South Korea. During my trip to the complex, I was told that the paper lanterns are a kind of prayer offering (perhaps similar to when Catholics light candles in a church?). There are many colors of paper lanterns (see below) but the white lanterns were separated from all the rest. When I asked why I was told that the white ones are specifically for ancestors who had passed away. I can’t verify 100% that this is correct, but it sounded plausible to me and it brings us to our wisdom for the day…
We Are All Ancestors
Perhaps the most important piece of wisdom I can ever give you is this…
You are going to die.
So am I. We all are. Death is the only certainty of Life. It might suck to hear that and I know it’s not fun to contemplate the end of your earthly existence, but the sooner you come to grips with that fact, the sooner you can appreciate the following:
When you think of the word ‘ancestor’ what comes to mind? For me, it’s the spirit of a relative who has passed from this world. I like to think that my ancestors are watching over me and have a desire to help me. (Hey, it fits with the whole ‘Be… Helpful’ theme of the site so that’s an added bonus!). But my question for you is, why wait till you are dead to act like a helpful ancestor? And why limit your help to only your family? Is there an opportunity for us to act like helpful ancestors to each other?
I believe the answer to that last question is “YES” and it’s really the premise of this website. I want to share wisdom with you that can help you live a better life right now – not a month or a year from now, but here, today. And I’m eager to hear your ideas too. Together I believe we can help each other. So I’m offering up a paper lantern for you too – but don’t worry, it won’t be white. 🙂
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a 3-part Foto Friday Series during the 2018 Winter Olympics focusing on South Korean culture. The other articles in the series were…
For more about Seokguram:
Seokguram (originally known as Seokbulsa) was reportedly established in 751 and there is a Buddhist temple on site. Since I have a pic of that (featuring more paper lanterns) you’re getting a Double Foto Friday. Woo Hoo!
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