Dr. Kim - Rise Up and Lead!

Are Your Roots Exposed?

I just wrapped up a consulting project that had me frequenting the Parish of Natchitoches Louisiana over the span of three years. Whenever I was there, I always made it a point to stroll down Washington St. and indulge in the incredible food. Another highlight for me was taking moments to reflect on my day while sitting by the serene Cane River. On my final trip, I happened to capture a picture of a tree that I’d passed by countless times before. But this time, it made me pause, look closer, and ponder: why are its roots exposed?

In the picture, you can see that the tree stands tall and sturdy, yet its roots cascade down an embankment, exposed yet still reaching far and wide into the remaining soil. After a bit of research, I discovered two main reasons for this phenomenon:

First, erosion. Soil erosion caused by water runoff or wind can gradually strip away the soil surrounding a tree’s roots, leaving them exposed. Despite the erosion, the tree remains steadfast and firmly rooted. It got me thinking: what are your roots? What keeps you standing strong, even when life’s challenges erode away at your foundation? Your roots represent who you are, your values, your unchanging core beliefs. Are you still standing firm, even after weathering storms or battles that have left you with less ground to stand on?

Secondly, tree growth. As trees mature, their roots may grow closer to the surface, especially if they’re in search of water or nutrients. Are you outgrowing your current environment? Perhaps it’s time to stretch out, meet new people, explore different paths. Whatever it may be, I hope this picture resonates with you as it did with me. I’m still grappling with the question of why some roots are exposed. Personally, my own roots have been laid bare over the past couple of years. I’ve found solace in reflection, prayer, and granting myself grace to not always have all the answers before moving forward and walking in faith.

At the root of it all, exposed roots reveal the depth of who you are—your fundamental beliefs, values, and experiences that shape your identity. Your actions expose what lies within. What are you revealing to the world? Until next time…KEEP RISING!


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