Salt is one of our most used commodities. Jesus speaks of his followers as “salt and light”. As a seasoning in a world full of those who have yet to believe. It flavors that which is bland and adds zest to that which would otherwise be tasteless.
It is known to heal. It will cut through phlegm in the throat quicker than any OTC product on the market. I gargle with it when Spring allergies make life less than pleasant.
And it’s used as a preservative. In fact, I can think of few life experiences in which salt – literally or proverbially – is not a part.
There are times in life when the old adage “salt in an open wound” is most appropriate. Yes it will heal the wound – eventually. But first it will make us very miserable. Why?
Because it stings like h_ _ _!
I recall a time in childhood when I fell off the back step and sliced open my right knee (still have the scar to prove it). It bleed like a stuck pig, so my Momma poured salt from the box onto the gaping bleeding wound to stop the bleeding long enough to run up the street to the doctor. The salt on the open wound stung worse than the fall that produced the gaping bleeding wound in the 1st place!
As I’ve grown older and medical science has progressed beyond salt in a wound to stop the bleeding and to “sanitize” it; the wounds of life are less physical and more emotional. Most often they are spiritual in nature. I don’t know about you, but I tend to think that the wounds to the flesh of childhood are less painful over the long haul than the wounds to our adult psyche.
Adult women can be cruel. We tempt, taunt, and torture each other over the slightest thing. It is most obvious when we are women in business. Call it a competitive spirit or what you will; but instead of lifting each other up – we tear down. Instead of a shred of compassion for weak moments, we haughtily laugh at another’s weakness, ignoring our own as if it never existed. I recall something about paying attention to the speck in our own eye before attempting to remove the plank from another’s.
All too often it’s the plank in our own that picks and pokes fun at the speck in the eye of someone with whom we pretend to be a friend. We can call it discernment if we want; but usually it’s just plain stuff of adult flesh having its way with us. Or the arrogance of women who would not for a moment have salt poured in their wounds. For no other reason than they’ve convinced themselves that they have no wounds of which to speak. Or be salted!
The business world is a tough place to handle. It’s not for the fainthearted. The public square requires slightly toughened skin through which little of a nefarious nature can penetrate. But now and again, something – or someone – sends a zinger our way and the tough skin parts and the dart stings all the way to our emotional-spiritual quick!
That’s not bad enough. Someone comes along who decides the best “cure” for the wound is to pour salt from a venomous tongue or fingers in the case of the written word. The “sting” of old adages such as “salt in an open wound” and “adding fuel to the flame”. run rampant across my mind. And a wound nearly healed is once again open – seeping and weepy.
So what to do? This morning I ran across a very appropriate and timely post from Dr. Mark Chironna, who was once my pastor. He’s a brilliant man of God and his post was so fitting. Especially for those times when the marketplace and the nefarious folks who inhabit it come to call.
Dr. Mark states: “Those who seem to thrive on making unpleasant statements about you either to others or directly to you know the power of negativity on your psyche. Their malicious intent is to create a dent in your well-being, your productivity, and your overall sense of happiness. Such individuals are not worth the time they’re stealing from you. If you can’t create sufficient boundaries to keep them away, learn how to separate what is being said from what you know to be true about yourself. Do not let them define you.”
I can think of no better suggestion for dealing with such folks than this. While it’s not always easy to do; it is in the long run, the only positive step we can take to stop the stings and arrows of those who only gain their self-respect when seeking to rob us of ours!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Connecting Women in Business Worldwide
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