When I was little I red this story about a statue of a prince and a bird. Thirty years later that same story was told to me by a Buddhist nun and she also added the meaning of the story which was never revealed to me when I was little and now I finally understand. In short, it is the story of a compassionate bird who on his migration down south finds the statue of a Saint/Bodhisattva/Spiritual teacher, the name is not important, what is important is that it is the bird’s object of veneration. So the bird stops and ask the statue, how to serve the world on his behalf… The statue as statue does not say anything. Regardless the bird becomes inspired to do good deeds for people in the name of the statue and keeps coming back to tell the statue what he did and asked for more tasks to carry out. Still, the statue is just a statue and does not say anything. Still, the bird finds inspiration to keep doing more good deeds on behalf of his object of veneration. The message of the story is that no matter what you choose to venerate, if it does not inspire you to take action to better your life or the life of others, then you are just sitting there admiring its beauty and that is not practical. Whether is a statue, a flower, a nun, a loved one etc, if we are not being inspired to take action and carry out beneficial deeds for ourselves or the rest of the world then our spiritual practice is just a repetitive ritual.