Roots…branches, leaves, vines… or morals, background, values? Roots can mean two different things, first being a part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to support it, second meaning the basic cause, source or origin of something or someone. The two have totally different meanings, oneyou can physically see and the other you cannot. Yet when thinking about your own roots it easily relates to the roots of a plant, they both keep you and the plant supported. Just like the root system of a plant shapes what’s above the surface your roots shape who you have become.
What would happen if a tree didn’t have roots? It would topple over right away; as a matter of fact it wouldn’t have even grown. The tree needs its root system to survive and the bigger the web of roots are underneath the bigger and stronger the tree will be.
My own roots started where I grew up as a kid on a highly rated seedstock beef operation that has sold cattle across the globe. My grandpa Leonard started the farm from scratch in 1951 and with the help of my grandma raised 11 healthy children that yielded 51 grandchildren. I learned manyvaluable lessons from my big family; they taught me things like honesty and work ethic. The cattle that I grew up around have taught me a lot about patience, and has developed my passion for the beef industry and agriculture. Three years ago I moved away from the farm and my dad, brother and I started our own family beef operation. My roots branched out and expanded. As they did it made me a stronger person, learning more skills and life lessons through this unusual change in my life. My roots are still growing to this day through changes like starting college this fall and are making me a stronger person with each challenge and opportunity I face.
We all have different roots, not one of us is the same. However, it’s not as much what your roots are or what you have been born into, it’s what you make out of each situation in your life. I have been blessed with being born into an amazing family but if I hadn’t realized the great opportunities that came with it my roots would have stayed shallow. We continue to be presented with new opportunities every day and as that happens our roots keep getting deeper. But are they growing as deep as they can? Every minute that goes by transforms into your history and your history is a good representation of what you will be in the future, just like the roots of a tree determine how big and strong it will be. Are you taking advantage of your opportunities? Better yet, how are you facing your challenges? We can all make it a goal to take advantage of everyday opportunities and face our challenges with a positive attitude. Build your web of roots.
Expand Your Roots,
Minnesota FFA State Treasurer