What do potato chips, pistachios, peanuts, and popcorn have in common? They all derive their most memorable flavor from the magic of salt.
Food would be both bland and significantly less sweet without salt, and the same goes for life. Well, at least metaphorically. (I know, I know. That salt-makes-things-sweet bit doesn’t make sense. But trust me, it’s true. Well, trust science. Check it out.)
If you’re well versed in trivia, biblical or otherwise, you know that salt is used for its preserving, healing, and seasoning properties. In Biblical times, salt was a hot commodity for trade, right up there with gold. While now not as rare or expensive of a commodity, salt is still useful and valued today.
Here at the School of Education, we value salt more than most. Now, I’m not talking about being snarky or about good ol’ sodium chloride, but S.A.L.T., our acronym to live by. SALT stands for Service, Academics, Leadership, and Teaching.
As you might have guessed, our SALT model comes from Matthew 5:13, part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus instructs his followers to be the salt of the Earth, essentially instructing them to encompass the preserving and healing qualities of salt.
In an open letter to future teacher candidates, Dr. Looney writes:
“Teacher candidates are instructed to be ‘the salt of the earth’. This summarizes the belief that candidates and professional faculty in the School of Education strive to become, by God’s grace, individuals who reflect the properties of salt. They are to season and enrich the lives of others. They are to become the preservative of hope and encouragement to others. Ultimately, they are to become healing agents serving others who need help overcoming the difficulties of life.”
We are all called to be the salt and light of the Earth, yet we so often forget our calling. That is why we constantly need to remind ourselves of the standards we are to live by, remembering that they are heavenly standards, not earthly ones. Furthermore, teachers are to be held to an even higher standard, as they are responsible for educating the future generation(s). This is a call that is to be taken seriously and should be understood completely.
Salt is used to heal wounds, add flavor to food, and preserve the perishable. It is versatile. We are to be the same.
Join me next week as we take a closer look at what it means to be the S.A.L.T. of the Earth and of our campus.