Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Radical integrity

Structural integrity depends on having two qualities in sufficient degrees: strength and flexibility. Structural integrity allows buildings to withstand internal and external forces so that they stay standing. Buildings begin with foundations and foundations support all that comes after them. Foundations do not grow and buildings cannot expand beyond their foundations.

Roots are different. Trees grow in both directions: up and down. As they reach higher, they also reach deeper or wider (depending on the type of tree). Roots provide more flexiblity than foundations. They support structures that bend and change and grow.

When you think about your roots, it is common to think about where you began. That's not an entirely accurate way to think about roots. Plants begin as seeds, and while the roots might begin near the beginning, they keep growing throughout the life of the plant. If you want to think about where you began, think about seeds and soil. If you want to think about where you are going, think about roots. Roots move.

What grows deeper or wider as your accomplishments stretch higher? What part of you is growing underground to support the growth that others can see? What qualities in you are radical?


• adjective 1 relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something. 2 advocating thorough political or social reform; politically extreme. 3 departing from tradition; innovative or progressive. 4 (of surgery) thorough and intended to be completely curative. 5 Mathematics of the root of a number or quantity. 6 of or coming from the root or stem base of a plant. 7 informal, chiefly N. Amer. excellent. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary.


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