Roots – just some thoughts about them

Trees have roots. Through their roots they get nourishment and water. Roots keep the trees stable. When too many roots are cut, the tree will die.

Not every tree has deep roots. Some trees have roots spreading widely, but close to the surface. Others have roots growing deep into the earth. The roots get thicker and stronger the older a tree grows. As long as it is alive it is able to form new roots.

What about us humans? What about me? Do I have roots? Are they as important for me as they are for a tree?

Well, I believe that humans must form roots. They might not nourish our bodies, but our hearts and minds. Like trees, we have some strong roots and some smaller ones. When too many of our roots are cut, we will become unstable and lose our mental and emotional balance. When we lose all our roots, we die. Not physically, but our souls are destroyed when there is nothing left to nourish them. We might function, but are dead inside.

But what are human roots? Where do they come from?

From the moment we are born, we start forming roots. Strong root in my opinion are growing out of relationships, especially with our family or with the people caring for us, giving us affection and helping us grow up. They determine how we feel about ourselves and how we are able to cope with our lives. If this root is strong it will form many side arms, as we form friendships and enter relationships.

Each of us is born into a society, which again is influenced by its religions, its culture and its political system. I was lucky to be born into a democratic society, where it is up to me to choose my religion, to form and express my political opinions and the way I want to live. This society and its institutions have formed my values: I believe in freedom, tolerance, equality and social justice. Part of this root is my education, thus I have an understanding of history, my country’s history and world history, I have been introduced to the arts and science, and both the society and the education it has given me are strong roots out of which have grown my personal values and beliefs.

A third root is my profession. I love the kind of work I am doing. It includes teaching, counseling, managing a team and part of an institution, sometimes traveling and learning new things every day. One day I will be a pensioner, but the experiences, the knowledge and some of the relationships I have formed during my work life will stay with me even when I retire.

During my life I have formed many more, smaller roots, growing off the big roots. Maybe you could say they were the places, the people and the activities that gave and still give me a feeling of purpose, of belonging and of being safe.

However, I believe that my values and my family ties are my main roots, the ones that nourish and form the smaller roots. Losing them would unbalance me, as the one is giving me security and the knowledge that there will always be people I can count on. My values and beliefs are my compass in life. They give me orientation and help me to find my way. They are my filter and help me to distinguish between right and wrong.

Losing my roots would be dangerous for me. Not having anything to believe in anymore, having no values and no believes, being completely disillusioned and at the same time not having anybody to care for and nobody caring for me would destroy me both mentally and emotionally.

Weekly writing challenge: Roots

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