Be a lake, not a puddle


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.
– Siddhārtha Gautama

I found this quote, when I was clearing my email this afternoon. I saved back in 2014, but it still rings true – timeless words indeed! I wonder if Gautama would be amused at how “salt” (or salty) has come to represent being “angry, upset or bitter” in modern times; I know I certainly am, because it has only reinforced his analogy.

If we were water… being a stagnant puddle or allowing ourselves to be constricted by the slippery walls of a highball glass would only strengthen the effect of this spoon of salt. It would diffuse throughout and slowly poison the the water, such that even though its visual clarity remained unaltered, a simple taste would tell all. If we were, instead, as wide and expansive as a lake, as dynamic and lively as a river, or as deep and well-sourced as a well – then that intense and concentrated salt would yet be overwhelmed by sheer volume, flavourless and weak though a single drop may be. The water would taste fresh as ever.

Here’s to letting big hearts, generous spirits, optimistic attitudes, and patient, learned wisdom, gently wash away the brutal, volatile, and often insidious heat of our anger, bitterness, and despair. Let us flourish!



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