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Sudie Crouch: When it comes to words, hold the salt
John Mark-Smith, Unsplash

I saw a video recently, titled Be Sunny, Not Salty, that really got me thinking. It was super short — only a minute — but it was full of some good little nuggets of wisdom. 

For starters, it talked about how plants grow towards the light of the sun, something we all probably know or have witnessed at some point. 

Sudie Crouch
The video went on to explain that people are also drawn to those who have sunny dispositions — positive, encouraging people. 

Those who were the opposite of the sunny people were considered salt, and how we should strive to be the sun and not the salt. 

I thought about that — salt, that is — for a moment. 

Even though the video was talking about how we needed to be more like the sun and less salty, it made me also think how if salt and sugar aren’t labeled, we can easily get them confused. 

It’s not until we taste it that we know the difference. 

People often think we need to ‘keep it real’ or speak our truth, when sometimes the things we say may not be the kindest things to share. 

Some of the things they say under the guise of truth may be salt in disguise of sugar.

I’m guilty of it on more occasions than I care to admit. 

My temper or tongue get the best of me, and I say something in the emotionally charged moment and while it may be true, it may not have been necessary. 

There’s been times I’ve made comments that may have been funny but had a mean tone to them. 

On more than one occasion when I’ve said those things, I haven’t been the quickest to apologize. 

That’s one of the traps we fall into. 

We think if someone gets offended, they are too sensitive, too thin-skinned, or can’t take a joke. 

Heck, that can be me in some situations! I am the first to admit I am sensitive. Which makes it even more confusing in those moments when I’m not mindful of what I say. 

I’m not talking about those kinds of truths that are important, but mostly about opinions. We tend to be mistaken in believing because we think something, it must be true, and everyone needs to be privy to our thoughts and opinions. 

Just because I may think something’s the truth, doesn’t mean I need to share it, especially if it can be hurtful or mean-spirited.

There’s those who still think being honest and truthful should be valued above the person’s feelings though. Their saltiness is a bit too much. 

Salt, when it’s added in the right amount, can actually add or enhance flavor. 

When we challenge someone or use our words to actually provide something constructive, it can be beneficial. Unfortunately, it’s not often that we are saying something helpful or that is building someone up. Maybe just like with cooking, we need to learn how to add the right amount.

It’s not just our words that matter, but our actions as well. 

Someone that’s like the sun may jump in to help someone if they see they need it or is just positive in their interactions. 

Salty people may not be helpful and if they by some miracle are, may complain afterwards. 

I think of how salty people also look for the negative in every situation and believe the worst in folks. 

I don’t like the moments I have done that, where I have jumped to conclusions about someone’s motives and said things or reacted in a way that probably made the situation far worse for everyone involved. 

It can be easy to do when we’ve been oversalted on occasion. 

When we’ve had people do that to us, it can sometimes cause us to repeat that cycle. 

Kind of odd, isn’t it? You’d think we know better since it was done to us, but that is not always the case. 

There’ve been a few people I’ve known who felt like the only way to lift someone up was to tear them down first. 

As people, we tend to focus on what we’ve done wrong more than what we’ve done right, so when someone is berating us and pointing out our flaws, faults and errors, we focus on those more than two seconds of praise that may be sprinkled in there somewhere. 

I’ve experienced a few of those situations — where the person started off with all of my mistakes. It’s never a good feeling, and it can make us start to wonder if they are right, even when we know in our heart they’re not. 

The video went on to say how plants grow and thrive in the sun, just as people thrive and flourish with positive words and kindness. 

Those salty words can stay with us, but we don’t have to pass the salt. We can choose to be warm, kind, and compassionate, or to not say anything if we can’t express those traits sincerely. 

We may have to taste our words again. May we season accordingly.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.