Kino’s Journey ~ The Beautiful World ~ Episode 9: Pray or Do?

Episode nine of Kino’s Journey is a collection of short episodes of her travels, as well as one of Shizu’s. Most are humorous: a bandit’s advice about not attacking Kino’s group or Shizu’s, based on terrifying memories of Kino’s master; an even more terrifying tale of Kino’s cooking; Ti’s thoughts about the validity of making wishes; and Kino’s frustrating trip to the Las Vegas of that world’s nations (watch it and you’ll see what I mean).

Among these was one more serious short, about a town built on good deeds, and the true heart of man. As you do good, you accrue points so that even if you do something criminal, you might be able to stay in black. The former president of this country has built up a record amount of good deeds and is ready, in a sense, to cash in.

However, Kino’s presence causes him to think twice (she was the intended victim of his murderous plot), not only regarding her but also an infant he later considers killing. There’s something really valuable to mine here, I think, in the president’s motivations and actions, not only in consideration of how we can never do enough good deeds to make ourselves clean, but in how we might not understand our true selves. The President did everything for the wrong reason, and yet is surprisingly tender and authentic in what could have been his worst moment.

However, I want to focus today’s question on the short story involving Shizu, Riku, and Ti. They enter a nation in which the residents hang wishes from a monument. Shizu, still looking for a place to reside, doesn’t see much use in participating in the ritual.

It seems Ti believes similarly. As she is celebrated for her wish, which is that all the other wishes comes true, Riku asks why she chose it. Ti responds, “Because it’s not as if any of this does any good.”

While wishes and prayers aren’t quite the same (though in some faiths they may be more similar than in others), the reaction of Shizu and Ti reminds me of how many react toward prayer. When a tragedy happens, and there’s an outpouring of “Pray for _____,” there’s also a backlash against said sentiment. Pray?! Why don’t you actually HELP?

I admit, my feelings toward those posts are complicated. At once I feel judgmental, shameful, and indignant. Though I’ve made my thoughts known about prayer before, I want to know your thoughts. Do you feel the same as Riku, Ti, and those who become upset at people praying rather than acting? Or do you feel differently?

Does prayer make a difference?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Please comment below!

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