Salt of the Earth

Considered “the spice of life” by many in the culinary world, salt has numerous uses both inside and outside the kitchen. Historically its value was so great that in some countries it was even used as currency. Today we refer to exceptionally kind, reliable, or honest people as the “salt of the earth.”


“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”
          — Buddha

  • The glass — a small container we allow to hold our life.
  • The salt — difficulties that mask our joy.

When we allow ourselves to venture beyond self-made boundaries, difficulties don’t disappear, but seem to diminish and take a less active role in our life.

Do you prefer a glass or a lake?



65 thoughts on “Salt of the Earth

  1. I take my troubles to the sea Laurie and before that to a river that ran for hundreds of miles to delivery my burdens to the sea. In this way my imagined self made boundaries disperse and worries are diluted. Certainly a lake would be better for me than a cup though 😉 All the best of today to you 🙂

  2. Imagining even beyond the glass and the lake right now, Laurie. I prefer the infinite container of this moment, in whatever it’s offering, salt or water. Having said that sentence, gosh, it’s awfully hard to realize that at times isn’t it? Sitting at the lake of this blog and feeling the cool-warm possible waters and your wise words.

  3. What Kathy said, above. 🙂

    Yes, a cool blue soothing lake seems preferable to a glass. I’ll shake a little of my salt in it, but it won’t be noticeable. For the most part, I’ll swim in the blue joy of water, of life.

  4. I prefer the ocean to a lake…. when I look out over the sea I think of infinite possibilities all moving towards me. Thousands, millions of little choppy waves all the way from the horizon and beyond, each representing a choice or a path to take… but when they arrive at the shore they can seem huge and overwhelming and scary. So you just have to wade in and get past that first set of waves… after that the ocean seems surprisingly calm… but there are more waves coming…. it is a never ending process…

  5. Definitely a lake mentality! 🙂 Thank you for another great post. Also, for your encouraging words on my blog yesterday. It meant a lot to me. Have a great week. 🙂 I so enjoyed your posts one sleepless night about the Life Paths. Mine are: 2 = Life Path Number, 11 – special Master Number, Expression Number is 7, Soul Surge number is 2.

  6. Hi Laurie

    It’s kinda like the ancient idea, all things in moderation, particularly moderation; and it also speaks to me of the idea that there is no such thing as “is poison” without reference to concentration.
    Most things are beneficial (even essential) in appropriate concentrations, and lethal if in appropriate (either too high or too low) – salt, water and oxygen are three that come immediately to mind.
    And we are all different.

    My particular biochemistry needs relatively high salt concentrations. When I went on a salt free diet 3 years ago, it took 7 months for my blood pressure to get down to 80/60, and for me to be fainting i I stood up too quickly. Most people have high blood pressure, I don’t. I’m back onto what most would consider a high salt diet, and my BP is stable at 105/65.

    So sometimes a lake is appropriate, and sometimes a glass. For me, 1 part seawater to two parts fresh water gives a very tasty drink. And I can quite easily drink a litre of seawater, provided I follow it within an hour or two with a couple of litres of fresh.

    • Ted – You may have already read this, but if not, I think with the love you have for science and the behind-the-scenes way things work, you would really enjoy this book:

      “Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!” It’s written by F. Batmangheli, MD.

      I’m glad to know that your blood pressure is stable 🙂

  7. A lake for sure.
    I made a decision to read more blogs, more often today. Glad I did.
    As I was reading this I knew what was coming, I could feel a voice in my head say “Lake”
    Such a beautiful read with such an easy choice…
    …Well for me anyway..

    x Shaun

  8. Is this a trick question? 🙂 I love finding out the origins of many of these phrases that have taken on their own meaning. I just had a discussion about another such phrase with friends over the weekend, and darned if I can remember it now! You, Laurie, ARE salt of the Earth!

  9. I will accept either, if as a gift from you. Thank you for your visits to my blog. Always a pleasure to see you there. Looks like you are up to lots of good works, here. Blessings. 🙂

  10. Had an amazing chat with my English class (a bunch of Nepalese cleaners) about the importance of salt in Arab culture and theirs. The Bedouin had the salt bond, and as part of mourning in Nepal, you have to avoid salt for a certain time period.
    Back to the glass/lake conundrum. I feel like the only square here, but I’d probably have to go for the glass. In order to flourish, I need pretty set routines and boundaries…otherwise I just drift along on the currents and achieve very little!
    And you can still see the lake thought the glass cant you? I’m definitely more of a peeker-througher than a jumper-inner!

    • WarmGinger – There is no right or wrong approach. The most important thing is to flourish. If you flourish best as a peeker-througher, than clearly that’s the route that sustains you best 🙂

  11. Sometimes,a glass of water with the salt is what you need to make a person get rid of something toxic.A few situations demand an exaggerated kind of response.Having a glass around while admiring the waves is not a bad idea.

  12. Laurie, it all depends what day of the week I am asked the question, as to my answer. Some days I’ve profess to prefer the glass, other days the lake. In fact in life’s situations a strong case could be made for either. Love that lead in with the salt making the water in a glass undrinkable and unnoticed in the lake.

    On another note I do find that my salt intake is higher than what it should be, but I can only imagine how many have that same problem.

  13. Gargling a spoon of salt in a glass of water is my go-to cure for a sore throat, and being by the salty sea is where I take my difficulties to regain perspective and rekindle joy…

  14. Interesting, salt and its role in our lives is quite interesting 🙂

    I loved this “When we allow ourselves to venture beyond self-made boundaries, difficulties don’t disappear, but seem to diminish and take a less active role in our life.” I’ve noticed this more and more in my life

  15. A beautiful big star-blue lake on Europa would be wonderful thanks! Icy cool and cleansing and revitalising the Wolfie spirit! Especially after recent technology battles – definitely need to cool and chill after all that steaming mad rage that’s been boiling at certain mobile phone outlets who seem incapable of supplying me with a decent Wolfie mobile to get online with!! Hope you’re good and here’s a big Wolfie hug for you! 😉

      • It will be interesting to see who smooths who’s bumps out first! I have a sneaking suspicion the technology will be smoothing my bumps of frustration out without actually smoothing it’s own out lol…now that would definitely be cause for wolfie to short circuit! 😀

  16. I have a completely different view of this post than most people. See, I’ve had NO SALT for almost a year, because that’s what my trainer told me to avoid. But now that I have a new trainer she said, “Of course you can have salt. Your kidneys need that to function.” So I’ve been putting salt on EVERYTHING! I’d say, salt is good, put it in a cup for me for and let me drink it and lick the glass afterwards!

    But since we’re not being literal here, I guess I’ll go with the lake answer.

    Lisa 😉

  17. Pingback: Salt of the Earth | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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