Some of you might have come across the tipping story of the world’s richest man who astonished a waiter with his reply. It is said that when Bill Gates tipped the waiter who served him in a restaurant with a 5$, the waiter had a strange feeling in his face. After Gates realized and asked what happened, the Waiter said, “I'm just amazed because on the same table your son gave a tip Of 500$, and you his father, the richest man in the world gave only 5$.”
Gate’s reply to this, which goes, "He is the son of the world's richest man, but I am the son of a wood cutter. Never forget your past!" forms the essence of roots that I wish to talk about. I found this story inspirational. It is hard to remain grounded after we become somebody. When a little achievement, some wealth and fame greet you, it is easy to leave behind your roots as though it has nothing to do with your life. Not to talk of becoming very powerful, extraordinary people, but even in our ordinary circumstances, which, sometimes set us a little apart from the so called common people, we, often times, tend to forget what we are made of or where we came from.
A little fame and success can drive us around for a while but these two things do not accompany us till the end. When they say “be original”, I guess it also means, ‘be yourself’ and don’t let other things affect you to the point that you become somebody else and live somebody else’s life.
Never forget your roots because it is a permanent part of you. Maybe you can plan your life, change your future and destiny, but you cannot alter your roots. It’s where you belong. Whether you like it or not, it’s a part of you that defines you in some unique ways. No matter where you grow up, where you study, what you become or where you eventually settle down, your roots will continue to play a very important part of your life.
You can change a lot of things, make improvements, go places, even live in a foreign land but you will still be a foreigner in a foreign land. A foreigner whose lifestyle or standard of living won’t change a single fact about your roots. The clothes you wear, the things you say, the knowledge you have, the degrees you earn, everything you go on to do in life regardless of how great you become, somehow, your origin will continue to matter so greatly.
Never forget your roots because it is the foundation of your existence. It is where you are based and the first place of your origin. Remember that changes will take place in life but nothing can ever change where you come from, and we must teach our children the place of our existence. We must teach them the value of belonging somewhere and more importantly, it must be guarded and cherished. As Hodding S. Carter says, “There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings.”