Have you ever cried salty tears? You know those tears that cascade into pools around your chin. I remember those kinds of tears from my childhood when I got in trouble over some major youthful indiscretion. This morning I started to think about salt and decided to do a little reading about it.
We can easily pick up a salt shaker, therefore I think we have forgotten its great value. I read how salt helped to shape human history. Great wars have been fought over salt. The Romans used to pay their soldiers in salt, which was as valuable as gold. As I read I learned that the first cities, such as Yuncheng in China, were built near places which had salt mines or were near areas where they could trade for salt. I’ve been to Salzburg, Austria, which is located on the Salzach River. This morning I learned that “Salzach literally means "salt river" and Salzburg "salt castle", both taking their names from the German word Salz meaning salt..”1
I thought about when I've heard young people say that the person is being salty when someone was being irritable and unpleasant. Salt is fine to bring out flavor. If too much salt is used it makes food unpalatable.
One day I was seasoning the a pot of food with some salt. The top accidentally came off the shaker and a whole lot of salt poured out into the pot. I did not stir but carefully tried to scoop out the salt. Then I peeled a potato and put it in the pot- a trick I learned from Winston, to absorb excess salt. It worked. You see I only wanted to season the food, not ruin the food.
I am trying to practice this principle of seasoning my speech with a little salt, not dumping in the whole box. If I have a point to make I try not to belittle or beat up on the other person's opinion. I am trying to say just enough to bring out my own point and be respectful while I am doing it. I keep in mind the Biblical instructions to be gracious in my talking and to season my speech with salt.* I think this means I don’t have to say everything that marches across my brain. We could all change the public discourse in our country if everyone practiced using just a tiny bit of salt. I‘m ready for a change. Will you join me?
* 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 NIV