The other night, I was eating Chinese food, and it was soooooooooooo good. I made a comment about how good the food is, and my husband said, off-handedly, "The secret is in the sauce."
Sure, there were fresh vegetables, and the chicken had no gristle. The presentation was pleasing, but the secret is in the sauce. It made the meal special.
I sometimes wonder if that is what is the secret to life in general, the secret being in the sauce. I mean, we construct our lives to be lives that work for us. Perhaps some feel that having lots of money is important – so they skimp on personal relationships (don't spend the time connecting to spouse, parents, children. Or others want a service-oriented life (think of the clergy) – so they put lots of effort into helping others. We focus on the large things (family, job, mission), just like a restaurant focuses on the different meats and vegetables.
But perhaps in life our overall outlook will color how fulfilled we are, much like the sauce can generally make even a so-so Chinese meal seem not only palatable, but something you want to order again and again.
Maybe in order to have a life worth living, one's overall outlook is important, much more important than IQ, EQ or beauty. I have known people who seem to never catch any of the breaks in life – they lose a spouse too early, are stuck in a dead-end job, or just are not that bright. But that does not seem to have as much of an influence on the quality of their life as their outlook.
I had a grandmother who figured out that the secret was in the sauce. If we were stuck in traffic for two hours because of an accident, and the mercury in the thermometer was dancing around 100, she would come up with a game to pass the time, and what could have been a disastrous car-ride seemed to be nearly as much fun as when we finally made it to the beach, where we could make sand castles, bury small children, or cool one's toes.
The secret is indeed in the sauce.