Disciples of SALT

The skill or art of communication is a two edged sword; similar is the skill or art of empathetic listening; however they are important elements for the SALT agent.  If your life, however is not grounded or rather built on the foundation of universal principles that stimulates and facilitates a win/win solution to our many societal and developmental challenges, such as HIV/AIDS all you would be as an agent in the response is just another mercenary, looking out for yourself, manipulating and conveniently using others to produce and preserve lopsided agendas.  Do not pretend to be confused or do not know what is the truth, because deep down inside all human beings is a conscience; that still small voice that always speaks to you when you are about to do something wrong, and you do not have to believe in any religion to know right from wrong, that is the amazing thing about Almighty God; irrespective of what you choose to believe or where you choose to be you are always in HIS presents. Now sometime your ego or conditioning can cause you to choose wrongly but be assured you always pay the price/suffer the consequence for wrong choices.

Understanding that you are the salt of the earth, understanding what and how powerful salt is, you should realize how profoundly important it is to truly represent SALT.   This principle and practice which seeks to enhance human relations can only do so by your conscious CHOICE; be as the receiver of the act or the one transferring the act.

As human beings we are all dependent on each other valuable contributions; the garbage collector is just as important as the medical doctor; think for a moment about the absence of the sanitary engineer for the proper disposal of the doctor’s hazardous waste, or the waste in your own communities, what would happen to us as a society?

The problem however is the value placed on each other valuable contribution; the SALT agent, is the one to advocate for change in this scenario and so many other societal constructs that cause us to become  vulnerable, to be easily influence to become self-centered and selfish and openly discriminate in the negative. I say this to say that discrimination has its’ place, like to know and do what is right instead of what is wrong.

Each person has a specific space and purpose, specifically designed to enhance “our” living experience; we need to find our space, our purpose for being here, for being where you are now.

Emile Durkheim had a dream; his dream was that even though society is filled with selfish individuals, specializing in different areas, we would have seen and appreciated each other’s contribution and that would have held us together in unity, perhaps free from exploitation; he was hoping that we would have seen and understood that even selfish people need one another to survive, and to survive in harmony would mean being respectful and genuinely appreciative of each other invaluable contribution. He also said “likeness allowed people to experience solidarity. Similar circumstances (like HIV/AIDS, discrimination,) would have led us to have shared values, ideas and goals; this is what he called “collective conscience”. My question to the PLWHA community, some key stakeholders, and to the general human population, Is their collective conscience?  

What should be done is exactly what the SALT project has requested of us from the very beginning, REFLECT ON THE HUMAN HEART (our/your heart) AND SEE AND AGREE THAT THERE ARE MUCH BETTER WAYS TO WORK AND RELATE WITH EACH OTHER.

It is time for us to go beyond transactional leadership into transformational leadership, where we would be able to transform the individuals involve as well as the relationship. We need to focus on the issues severely challenging for example, the HIV response in our country and not on personalities and positions. Do not misunderstand this statement, because for a surety the HIV response and other societal and developmental challenges does not need stooges in leadership positions nor do they need, deceptive individuals with their personal agendas, with the mind set of …” those people do not have the capacity to resolve their situation, they need us”, when in fact the problems are created by the practiced principles of “greed” and the “better than syndrome”’…one of the foundational believes of the SALT program is that every community has the capability to solve it own problems. I truly believe that the PLWHA community for example, has the capability to solve its’ own problems, and so does any other community that has any societal or developmental challenge.

How?  The collective, we, create a positive, cooperative energy focused on thoroughly understanding the issues affecting us and our solutions must be guided by the understanding of mutual benefit for all. This would require of us that we become committed to the principle of empathetic listening to truly understand each other’s point of view and then deeply commit to work together for, and guided by our strategies to achieve our desired goal, which is “mutual benefit for all of us.  

Salt of the earth, our dream of a better social environment, a better way of living, genuine inclusion, equity, can be achieved. Let us dialogue, from the heart, the seat of our conscience. Let us look deep into ourselves; let us be still for a moment and listen to that still small voice; the one that tell you what is right and what is wrong, not the one that tries to influence you to rationalize the wrong to make it look right.

Learning to play the game is the solution to our challenges presented by society; however this solution is exactly what has our situations the way it is and getting worst each day, but SALT of the earth we can change that. 

Cordially,

Anderson Figaro.       

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Comment by Laurence Gilliot on August 10, 2011 at 11:36am
I like the way you write, very poetic. I like the idea of "let us be still for a moment and listen to that still small voice; the one that tell you what is right and what is wrong".

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