Why Salt is Essential for Health

After a devastating explosion in a city, many essential commodities have quickly run out. From soap to clothes and even salt, the world in “Gee” illustrates scarcity and its effect on people.

One of the most desirable items to get is salt. Despite being a common seasoning, it quickly became a rare item when the state had little to no supply of it. It became so rare that potential riots would break out, and the mineral quickly became comparable to gold.

In short, salt is essential to life. Without it, we won’t be able to survive. Here are some ways its essential for our health:

1. Saltiness is a basic human taste. 

Taste buds are taste receptors in the human tongue. These receptors detect five primary flavors: saltiness, sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and umami.

2. It maintains human health.

Table salt or sodium chloride is essential for human health. Its most prominent uses are specifically for nerve and muscle function. Additionally, sodium chloride helps regulate bodily fluids and blood pressure.

3. It helps animals survive.

Humans aren’t the only creatures that require salt. Some animals need salt for improved immune function—trace minerals aid animals like cows in milk production, muscle movement, and blood clotting. Cows with a salt deficiency may experience appetite loss, weight loss, and even muscle weakness which poses a problem to farmers.

Interestingly, animals like deer, goats, and sheep would go to natural salt resources in nature to lick salty rocks to get their nutrients. This instinct shows they even animals understand the value of salt despite not having the words to share it with us humans.

Of course, like most things, individuals should still take salt in moderation. Eating an excess amount of salty foods can cause health problems like hypertension and even kidney issues. While we won’t be running out of salt soon, it’s worth knowing that salt is worth its weight.

by DL Davies

How Adults Can Guide Children to Develop Character

Character refers to the mental and moral qualities that are distinctive to a person. In my book, “Gee,” you may find that the protagonist has a distinct noble character despite his hardships.

Despite his adoptive father’s brief presence in his life, Gee often cites his influence and teachings. Making sure his words and actions match, he exemplifies what it means to be a reliable person. He also receives support from other adults in his life, like Mr. Forrester and Captain Taylor.

Having a supportive adult can be a great asset to any child’s development. Despite Gee’s predicament, his heart and character remain pure because he chose to believe in goodness. Additionally, being surrounded by adults with upstanding morals help him keep his faith. If Captain Taylor were like any morally-corrupt officer, perhaps it would be hard for Gee to find a reason to trust any adult.

How Can Adults Help Children Build Character?

Character, of course, doesn’t develop overnight. It needs to be taught, encouraged, and reviewed when necessary. Additionally, adults should also set positive examples when they want to raise upstanding children. When they put their expectations and follow their actions with their words, they earn respect from children.

Another way of helping build character is to use stories and examples. Gee’s father often cites Bible stories to him, letting him know the presence of God and what goodness is.

Last but not least is to ask situational questions. Questions like: “What would you do if you found a stranger’s wallet?” allows them an opportunity to put themselves in others’ shoes. When a child learns empathy, they start realizing that their actions have consequences. Additionally, learning empathy and being considerate of others’ feelings helps one grow maturely. Thus, ensuring a stable and more reliable person.

The Bottom Line

While we can’t all be parents, we can still find ways to help the next generation learn about morals. By setting a good example and emphasizing kindness, we can help them become better adults.

by DL Davies

Being Good is a Matter of Choice

“Why are you so nice to me?” she wailed and collapsed into heart-broken sobs.

He took her in his arms, and careful not to touch her upper-mid back, pulled her close and cuddled her. “I believes we s’pose to be nice to each other. M’Da usta reads to me outta the Bible. He telled me ’bout the Fall an’ how the Devil usta be a good angel and now him’s bad. We humans ‘spose to be good one to another; some of us is; ‘tothers ain’t so much…” Gee, page 67

People have a lot more freedom than you think. That choice also includes whether you choose to be a good person. In my book, “Gee,” the eponymous protagonist lives a hard-knock life. He had to overcome a series of challenges that no other ten-year-old did; from poverty to losing a parent and a sister—his world filled with loss and struggle. Nevertheless, things eventually turn out better once he realizes he has a special gift he can’t exactly put into words.

You would think that the young lad would eventually turn into a rotten person to the core after going through such hardships. Fortunately, he became the opposite when he used his street smarts and unique gift for good. From helping round up criminals to supporting his local grocer, Gee is a boy whose character shines throughout the story. His character is admirable not because of his hardship but his choice to be good no matter what.

As much as upbringing, environment, and genetics shape our character, we must look at another element. That factor, of course, is choice. Unlike the three, our choices include freedom and give us more possibilities. We can’t choose how we were born and brought up, but we can decide how to live our life after. Once we discover the power of choice and how it can shape us, we begin to take charge of our lives and, hopefully, become better individuals.

by DL Davies

What Struggle Teaches Us

Struggling through problems and obstacles is an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s managing finances or figuring out our life’s purpose—we all have something we struggle with.

George Elandier Evansen or “Gee” is no stranger to such struggle. Despite being only ten years old, he has already lived through a series of obstacles that would stress out any adult. Fortunately, his street smarts and special skills aid him in surviving and even thriving.

Unfortunately, not all of us have unique skills like object transference or teleportation. Nevertheless, we do have resilience—which is an underrated human skill. With resilience, here are the lessons that struggle teaches us:

1. It teaches us to adapt to adversity.

Resilience teaches us to keep going even when it gets tough. Humans are not only resilient but also incredibly intelligent and can come up with creative solutions to problems. When we struggle, we become more motivated to find solutions. This motivation shifts our focus away from the pain, and we begin to learn how to adapt.

2. It teaches us the value of resourcefulness.

Problems like scarcity can be harrowing event, but it also provides us an opportunity to be resourceful. Whether learning a new skill or learning from experience, we can always find a way to make things work.

3. We learn how to prioritize.

Limited resources result in limited choices, which allows us to learn about prioritizing. This skill is when we learn to value “what we need” vs. “what we want.” When we know how to prioritize, we understand what we value the most.

4. We become more confident in the face of adversity.

Learning from experiences through hardship allows us to become stronger, tougher, and more confident when a similar event occurs. That is not to say we become “immune,” but that we are more likely to react rationally.

5. It keeps us grounded.

A life full of privilege and perks is enviable but somewhat empty. Think about it: would you have been happy if you had everything you wanted right at your fingertips? Wouldn’t it be better to learn the value of hard work and earn your prize instead? Gaining something you worked hard for is infinitely more gratifying because you know you deserve it.

To struggle is to live life. However, struggling isn’t just an unfortunate circumstance. It could provide a foundation to help us grow. When we give ourselves that opportunity, we become healthier and more grateful.

by DL Davies