SALT - ed

 

It’s not every day that the family huddles together to speak openly about personal strengths, hopes and fears. And, when such a day occurs; poignant effects are nothing but expected.
That could be the prologue to what happened when papa (after much cajoling) got us to do “SALT”.

So, it started like this. On sheets of paper all four of us (that’s ma, papa, akram and myself) were to write spontaneous responses, thoughts and perceptions to papa (our facilitator)’s questions.

To begin with, we were asked to note down what we believed to be our strengths, anything we were proud of. Now the responses couldn’t have been more varied, from Ma’s EQ, memorization prowess and culinary skills to Akram’s leadership skills, athletic and techie grasp-(Isn’t that combination hard to come across) and creative (to be read as Photoshop pro) proficiency, while for me it was a chance to brag about skills relating to social media, emphatic understanding and transforming problems to solutions. It was papa who stole the crown and our hearts when he counted us, his children among his strengths!

Then we were asked to write our hopes and concerns. Just like papa had predicted, and to our surprise, our individual hopes were antonyms of our personal concerns. Like, my brother looked forward to do his MSc from an A1 Uni but was concerned about the competition for scholarships…My desire to make the most of all my abilities stemmed from my concern to succeed in everything I do.

So, we recognized that everyone has potential strengths, which together with permutations and combinations of hopes and concerns depicts their journey.

 “What makes us Human?” papa asked and we responded that faith, peace, intelligence, love, spirituality, optimism and emotion sets us apart from other living beings. So, humans shared these intrinsic traits in differing ratios obviously, but which nevertheless made them alike. Now that we had all agreed to all humans being equivalent in this regard, what made us different from each other? Personality, lifestyle, individual strengths and weaknesses, social influence, beliefs, faith, culture…circumstances, experiences and choices.

This was an epiphany like no other.

Everyone was equal, when it came to values and qualities; but the knowledge exploited, choices chosen and experiences build up who we are. A man on the street is no less worthy than the woman on her way to the office; each one is where they are because of circumstances and endeavors.

 

So that was what SALT was all about.

S – to Share, Strengthen, Support and Stimulate. A - Appreciate. L - Listen, Learn and Link. And, T -Team, Transfer.

In addition to the above insights, we comprehended that strengths and success rested on turning concerns to hopes; we could be experts in what we do but qualities are reinforced further when we join forces… we only stand to gain more when we make SALT a way of life.

 

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Comment by Marlou on April 27, 2016 at 11:58am

Dear Ayesha,

How are you? Thanks to your father I am now re-reading your posting from almost 5 year ago. I am hoping to hear from you how the family SALT helped (or not) in where you are now. Perhaps you'd want to respond in my 'request' on this platform: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/forum/topics/salt-in-the-family.

Gaston, would you share your SALT in the family experience since you read Ayesha's blog? 

Comment by Gaston on October 17, 2011 at 8:16pm
Great posting and such a pleasure to read. I like your human and personal writing style. I often use SALT and the same exercises with separate family members like one of my brothers or a parent. Next time I am together with my family, I'll do it in a group. Thanks to your posting!
Comment by Ayesha Nusrat on October 10, 2011 at 10:08pm
Thank you so much Marlou, Laurence Gilliot, papa and everyone who liked the post. I should apologize that I have been very late in replying which is not my usual way.
Marlou and Laurence, I couldn't agree more! There couldn't have been a better place nor a better time to appreciate and instigate SALT than at home, and that too with one's dear ones.

Thank you for your wishes, appreciation and encouragement, means so much.
Looking forward to more such instances of learning and ways to appreciate living better. Warm regards.
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on October 10, 2011 at 3:33pm

Thanks a lot for sharing Ayesha, very inspiring. Appreciation and open discussion like this in our families are soooooo powerful. You are lucky to have a family were this is possible. Were you all support each other. 

Greetings from Laurence from Chiang Mai.

Comment by Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique on October 5, 2011 at 7:10pm

Dear Ayesha, and Marlou,

Appreciate the way the blog is written, brief, yet says it all.

As Marlou writes, hopefully wish to see the family go the CLCP way, and complete the entire competence process. However, more than the process, or being a one-off activity for Community Action Day, it must be like Ayesha's last line which says it all.

Comment by Marlou on October 5, 2011 at 12:54am
Great! I am very happy with your posting, Ayesha. I have always been convinced that here is where SALT starts: at home, with our family, conversations at a kitchen table. Your father is very courageous to take you through the first steps of the process. I look forward to reading more from you: will this salt-session lead to changes, help you come closer to your dreams! I wish you all the luck and my warm wishes. Marlou, from france...

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