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Glossar (Englisch)

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blessings (on 恩)

Variously translated as "kindness," "mercy," "charity," "favor," grace," and "benefit," the word on 恩 denotes a beneficial act performed by someone who is above the recipient in a social or spiritual hierarchy, such as a parent, teacher, ruler, or deity. Two strong connotations of the word in East Asian culture are (1) that one should feel gratitude for the blessings bestowed, and (2) that one is morally obligated to "repay the blessings" (hōon 報恩) in some way, e.g. by living up to the expectations of parents and teachers, by caring for them in their old age, and by passing on what has learned from them to later generations so that their efforts in training one will continue to bear fruit in the future.