If you describe someone as the salt of the earth, you have a lot of respect for them as the type of person who deals with difficult or demanding situations without making any unnecessary fuss.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers
Two weeks back, I was asked the question ‘so explain to me your purpose in life’? I got thinking, I had many ideas popping up but I was not able to really express myself. He further went on to explain that if I wanted to live God’s purpose in life, I had to be ‘Salt’ & ‘Light’. What?
Well, I love the meaning of ‘Purpose’, I keep making reference to Rick Warren who said, ‘be purpose driven’ and teaches us how to be more effective leaders. Research also shows that a sense of purpose is created throughout life’s journey and captures one’s values, goals and identity.
The greatest tragedy in life is life without purpose
The first century Jewish leader said this – “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
During the time of this Jewish leader, salt was of paramount importance, it had very positive purposes and was a necessity then to preserve food as there were no refrigerators, the word salary comes from the Latin word for salt, the Roman Legions were sometimes paid in salt, the word salad literally means “salted”, and comes from the ancient Roman practice of salting leaf vegetables! Wars have been fought over salt. Venice fought and won a war with Genoa over the product, and it played an important part in the American Revolution. Towns like Liverpool flourished on the export of salt extracted from the salt mines of Cheshire and today, the Liverpool soccer stadium is where a salt mine was!
Salt was also used to express negative concepts; in the Middle Ages, salt was spread on land to poison it, as a punishment to landowners who had transgressed against society in some way!
Scientifically the word is progressing. Morally, we are decaying
Pastor Peter Tanchi
If I am therefore to be that salt, how can I stop the decay and help make our surroundings a better place? Is the world getting better? Am I doing anything to help, I mean ‘Anything’?
- Human Slavery: The world number of slaves today rages between 21-36 million. Labor Slavery -78%; Sex Slavery – 22%; and Child Slavery – 26% of total slaves. The buying and selling of human beings have become a valuable and profitable business.
- Suicide: Over one million people die by suicide each year worldwide, the global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population. On average, one person dies of suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
- HIV/AIDS: There were approximately 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2016. Of these, 2.1 million were children (<15 years old).
An estimated 1.8 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2016 – about 5,000 new infections per day.
- War and Human casualty: Nothing makes this segment more poignant and real than numbers. Current ongoing major global conflicts, Syria, Iraq and the Islamic State (Since 2011, Syria and Iraq, between 400,000 to 500,000 casualties), Somalia or Somalia Civil War (Since 1991, Somalia and Kenya, 500,000 casualties), Afghanistan or War in Afghanistan (Since 1978, Afghanistan, between 1,240,00 to 2,000,000 casualties).
I see so much decay around and I can’t always control the trials I face, but I am the keeper of my “salt”, am I be bitter or better? Will I remain in the Salt Shaker or can I be shaken and sprinkled? Am I Less seasoned or can I be more flavorful, even in a very small way? Will I disappear into the background or stand out as an overcomer?
In the end, what good am I if I’ve lost my flavoring?