REFLECTION: ‘We need roots’ sing the English folk duo Show of Hands, expressing a common sense of loss that many experience in a globally-connected-but-disconnected world. The song continues: ‘And we learn to be ashamed before we walk / of the way we look and the way we talk / Without our stories or our songs / how will we know where we’ve come from’?’
Within the bigger picture of becoming goodness – of becoming truly human – the practice of Love your Roots is about nurturing awareness of the streams that have shaped you and your people. It’s about cultivating a sense of the giftedness in those roots and looking for ways to allow those gifts to be shared. It’s also about deciding to reject or reshape whatever may be the opposite of gift, the difficult aspects of your tradition that damage and dehumanize. And it’s about respecting people of other roots and engaging with them in a spirit of honour and friendship.
PRACTICE: …Love Your Roots begins with reflection. Where are your roots? How has the identity of your people (or peoples – if like me you can identify various strands of belonging) been formed? How have those roots shaped your own story? Now look for ways to step with humility and strength into the best of your tradition, and pray for grace to hold in tension the difficult things in that tradition that can no longer be changed. A sign of maturity in this area may be our ability to honour the roots of others as much as we love our own roots…’
©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)
Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!