Tree Roots.jpg

Zac Brown Band, one of country music’s best, revealed their latest album, Welcome Home, a few weeks ago to mixed reviews.

Honestly, when I first listened to the album, I was disappointed. That has since changed.

Similar to how I felt when I heard their last album, Jekyll & Hyde, the songs grow on you. I find myself playing the album at all hours of the day. Like the albums before, my appreciation and gratitude only grows for the music that serves as the backdrop to my life.

I am especially drawn to the first song on the album, Roots. You can watch the music video here.

As I started writing this reflection, I was unsure where the typing would take me. In adding (and watching) the link above with the video, I now know. (If you haven’t watched the video yet, please do).

It shows the journey of ZBB. The message is simple. They are not an overnight success. It took time, and a lot of work. They are now one of the greatest bands in the world because of talent, but also because of the support they received, especially at home.

It makes you think: what are my roots? What are your roots?

The Freudian in me leads to analysis. Resist the critical assessment of why you do what you do.

Rather, appreciate your roots.

For better or for worse, and at times, for both, we are a product of our environment and all who live within this small area on earth that we share.

At times, we can criticize it. But do we take enough time to celebrate it as a part of our story.

I live 6 miles from where I grew up, a interesting named town called Ozone Park. Still, whenever I return home, I bring a critical eye. I wish the main boulevard was cleaner, and that the shops presented more of an alluring charm.

My current community is no different, but for my first home I wish for something more. Perhaps it the romanticism of past memories to blame, or the rise of my ego when returning home with those who did not grow up there.

Roots allows me to take pause and to appreciate the community for what it is. And that is a working-class town, where men and women of all ages work hard to survive and enhance their children’s future. It may not have the charm of a Main Street from the travel guides, but it is home, my home.

So, in this diddy comes a lesson for us all. Instead of judging, appreciate. See the impact of this piece of your life and allow it to provide insight into who you are, and celebrate this fact.

Finally, take stock of how far you have come. Not in the sense of “moving on up,” like the lyric from the Jefferson’s theme song. Rather, appreciate your growth. For Zac Brown, it was from a small bar in Atlanta to some of the biggest stages in the world. For you, it may be a healthy relationship, a profession that you enjoy, or a talent that was well nourished.

While you look back, recognize your present state. This current situation you find yourself in will one day be reflected on as part of your ever-growing roots. As difficult or challenging as today may be, recall these final words from the song that is the focus of this article.

Don’t give up
Hold on a little longer
What don’t kill you
Only makes you stronger

Reflect, appreciate, and move forward with greater insight.

Take the time today to thank God and those who encompass your past, because they are your roots.