I Know a Cure

” The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea.”

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)

This quote, made famous by an inaccurate Reader’s Digest article in 1934, has rung true through the decades.

As the logic goes, the three best ways to face and overcome life’s difficulties are:

  • working hard physically
  • crying
  • visiting the ocean

Another favorite quote is:

Saltwater heals everything.

In fact, it does promote healing. Salt forces the liquid in cells to move out of the body when it comes in contact with them. So, if those liquids are bacterial, they will be forced out – performing a cleaning of sorts.

How many of you have done a salt water rinse in your mouth or for a sore throat? Or perhaps you have used a saltwater solution on a wound area?

Why? Because salt kills bacteria and is a natural disinfectant that helps your body heal itself.

I know a cure – salt.

In ancient Africa, the salt-gold trade was standard. Gold was mined south of the Sahel and traded for salt from the desert. This trade made for an active trade route which made Ghana, Mali and Songhai large and powerful West African kingdoms. (Wow, I remember 7th grade History. Yeah!)

It always seemed like an odd exchange to me. But the key is demand. Isn’t that always a key?

Gold had little value if they weren’t able to eat their meat and survive. Salt had little value if they had no means to buy goods. So, gold-salt trade ensued and demands were met.

I know a cure – salt.

Let’s talk about salt.

I believe we have a salt shortage nowadays. Not of Sodium Chloride, NaCl, but of “salt of the earth” type people. For those of you too young to remember that phrase, a “salt of the earth person” was one who could be characterized as:

  • respectable
  • reliable
  • valuable
  • representing the very best in people
  • useful
  • having integrity
  • having received a very high compliment

This person, like the chemical compound salt, does not change. They are stable. Valuable. Dependable. Values oriented.

I know a cure – salt.

Most of us have heard the list of things that salt is used for, but they do bear repeating and review.

Salt –

  • brings out flavor
  • draws water out
  • cures food
  • creates traction
  • inhibits yeast growth
  • preserves
  • creates thirst
  • is a disinfectant
  • absorbs tremendous amounts of heat
  • has high melting point
  • lowers the freezing point

Salt doesn’t change. Yet, it becomes tasteless the more it is diluted. Take a cup of water and add a teaspoon of salt – you won’t drink it, it is too salty. But take that same teaspoon of salt and drop it into a giant vat of water – I bet you won’t even notice it.

Salt is a change agent. It is meant to change the things it comes in contact with; to draw out what is not healthy or needed, to preserve what is nutritious, to enhance flavor, to bring stability. It is meant to keep things fresh, and season the unsavory.

For today’s purposes, I would say that there are two types of salt.

Salt that is useful. It serves the purposes listed above.

Salt that is useless. This is salt that has become diluted and tasteless; it is ineffective, useless and adulterated. This salt is swept into the streets, no longer good for anything except to be trampled under foot.

Salt that has been diluted, has become complacent, or changes with every rainfall of ideology is useless, good for nothing. It has no flavor. It is not an agent of change.

Salt is such an agent of change, we even see its impact on some of our words.

Our word “salary”, the payment of currency for a job is associated with salt mine workers receiving their “salarium”. (sal – the Latin word for salt)

In Britian, the suffix “wich” means that it was once a source of salt. Example – Sandwich, Norwich.

I know a cure – salt.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

The Gospel of Mark, chapter 9:50

You are the salt of the earth. How is your saltiness?

Go, bring flavor, taste, stability, and all of the things listed above to your world. Be salty. Make people want a drink of what you have and come back for more. Be the salt of the earth type woman or man. The world needs us.

I know a cure – you.

Cheers to you.

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