the salt of the earth…

salt of the earth

The question of whether or not I have made, am making, or could still make a difference, is something I think about a lot. I suppose that’s always been part of what I want out of life; to know that I made an impact somewhere, somehow, in someway. To know that some part of the world was altered because of my having been here.

It’s taken me a long time to understand that about myself, that at the center of all I do is that implicit desire. And yet, I still can’t articulate what exactly that means or what it looks like in a more discernable way.

That kind of vague ambiguity can be torturous when you’re an overachiever. How do you work towards a goal that you can’t clearly define? How would you know if you’re making progress, or if you’re even headed in the right direction?

Discovering whether or not one has made a difference is all the more difficult by the fact that the difference one makes is not always overt, explicit, or even perceptible. Rarely are we ever privy to the opportunity of finding out. More than likely many of us will never know what change in the world was created by our being born. Many of us will never meet the people we’ve impacted, and perhaps many of the people we’ve influenced may not be able to pinpoint precisely where, when, why, or how it was that we managed to make some kind of change in their lives.

There’s a verse in the gospel of Matthew that says “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt isn’t the sexiest or most extravagant of seasonings. It isn’t rich or complex. It isn’t bold or particularly distinguishable as far as flavor profiles go. In fact, we hardly even notice it at all unless there’s either too much or not enough of it; the absence is obvious, the excess is unmistakable.

But, salt is at it’s best when it is poised and steady. When it is subtly, and almost silently, upholding and enhancing the best qualities of all that it comes into contact with. Salt is something essential. Something basic, sacred, and fundamental. It elevates and exalts. It strengthens and preserves. It is an aid in achieving equity and stability. It is the symmetry of the sweet, and the balancing of the bitter.

Austin Kleon says that “You do not need to have an extraordinary life to make extraordinary work”, and you don’t need to do something extraordinary to be of extraordinary value. You don’t need to make a mark. You don’t need to put a dent in the world. You just need to help make things a little better than they were before. You just need to be salt…

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