Only You Are Responsible For Your Own Wellbeing, pt5B
- by Bryan Brubaker, Think Twice Educator
Let’s get back to the crucible – we were just getting ready to put that baby in the furnace. Cuz that’s what you do with a crucible. Last time we got into begrudgingly making the sacrifice, getting punished for it, and what that actually looks like in life & relationships. But it got a little long before we could even get to the crucible. So let’s do that now.
Gold melts at 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit, iron melts at 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s super hot. Hotter than the hottest date you’ve ever been on! So, if you’re trying to smelt (melt – I don’t know why they put an ‘s’ at the beginning when talking about melting metals, but they do – like it’s an especial es-melting) – so if you’re trying to smelt, let’s just use one metal – gold! – for this, okay? So you’re trying to smelt some gold ore. Remember, ore is how it comes out of the ground, all dirty and with other crap all up in its grill, and that just won’t do. And we just saw that gold melts at 1,948 degrees F, so you need a container that can take all that heat without breaking in some way. That’s your crucible. You pack your gold ore into the crucible, and put it into a furnace that can get at least as hot as 1,950 degrees F. After being in the furnace for a while, the ore starts to melt, and this…scum starts to float on the surface of what is becoming a puddle of gold. That scum is called “dross”. Dross is all the impurities – the dirt and rocks and crystals and other elements that were mixed in with the gold in its solid, ore form. Once the gold is all melted, and all the dross has floated to the surface, then you can skim it off the top – like dabbing grease off your pepperoni pizza. Once all the dross is removed, the molten (melted) gold can be poured into ingots or coins or jewelry – the options are just about endless! And the result is an object of pure gold!
Now here’s a question: Do you think the gold ore enjoyed getting melted in the crucible? I’ve accidentally grabbed a hot pan before – one that was waay cooler than one thousand degrees! – and it burned my little fingers pretty badly! I can’t imagine it’s very enjoyable for the ore to go through that process. But I think getting made into a wedding ring for that special day, or an anniversary locket, or a fancy watch or classy necklace – something that people see and admire, that inspires them and lifts their spirits – I think getting made into something like that – into someone like that might be worth all the pain of the crucible.
Here’s the thing: you are an ore. You have all this stuff that makes up who you are – some of it is good, some of it, well, not so good. Some of it is because of things that were done to you and that you had no control over – these were not your fault. Some of it is because of choices you’ve made for yourself in the past, and some of those may not have been the healthiest choices. And some of it is just part of your personality. The thing is, your life is your crucible, and what you do from here – right here, right now – on into the future will determine whether you become that beautiful person who helps, heals, and inspires others, or if you get discarded with the dross. When you willingly make the sacrifice, you are refining yourself. And remember, like attracts like, so as you make yourself better, you will draw better people around you, who will in turn encourage you to become better. And that’s a pretty good thing.
Oh, yeah, I work with lead a good bit in my shop. It only melts at 620 degrees F. I will make a little video of lead, smelting lead, and skimming the dross off the molten metal. We’ll have it for you soon. :)