Rev. Umitani shared the Buddhist origins of four Japanese words or expressions that we often use:
- Akirameru (あきらめる): commonly means "give up," but more importantly, we need to reflect on why we stopped attempting, otherwise it leads to regret and blame (unhappy face). Instead, we use our Buddhist teachings to see things as they truly are (happy face).
- Arigatai (ありがたい): means "thank you," but literally means "difficult to exist." How fortunate I am to live here and now.
- Mottainai (もったいない): means "wasteful," but also when someone ignores the truth of interdependence, thinking that one exists only by one's own efforts. Mottainai encourages us to be aware of the many gifts of others, and have a sense of appreciation.
- Okagesama (おかげさま): means "I am what I am because of you." Kage is a shadow. How often do you have a chance to see your own shadow? Okagesama is a word to express our appreciation for the many gifts we are constantly receiving.