“Change your opinion, keep to your principles, change your leaves, keep intact your roots” – Victor Hugo.

The definition of the word ‘root’ used in the above context does not mean roots of a plant or tree. It projects a different meaning all together. Likewise, the tagline of Red Bull is “Red Bull gives you wings”. So, this doesn’t mean that we will start flying like a bird. It’s just a way of saying that after consuming it, we will be energized and liberated. Thus, one word can have several meanings; we just need to look beyond the simple definition of the words taught to us when we were kids.

Let’s look at different perceptions of roots and wings –

1. It is an essential part of parenting
“The greatest gift you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley

Building a strong root for children is an essential part of parenting. It is the roots that guide how they will develop as an individual. It is very similar to the functioning of roots of a tree. A tree stands up tall and strong only because of the roots. It binds the tree together. Likewise, our roots keep us grounded and remind us where we have come from. They bring stability in our life.

Similarly, along with having strong roots, wings are also essential for the overall growth of children. Wings represent independence. If children won’t be given independence to do what they aspire to do in their life, then they will become stubborn. It wouldn’t stop them from doing according to their whims and fantasies; rather they will do it the wrong way like hiding from parents, stealing, etc. Thus, there should be proper blend between roots and wings for the overall uplifting of children.

2. Home land and host land
Nowadays, lots of people migrate from their hometown to a completely new host land in search of good education, good job facilities, new opportunities, etc. Sometimes it is a permanent move; sometimes it is for a short duration for work, travel, etc. Thus, here homeland represents our roots where we have grown as an individual, where we have learned all the culture and values, which represents what we are today.

On the other hand, host land represents our wings where we migrate to, in order to make something of ourselves. Host land gives us exposure of outside world and shows us the path of expansion. It helps us to move forward on the path of our success. The phrase “Home Sweet Home” is appropriate in this context because no matter wherever we migrate to, ultimate peace is restored when we are in our home.

3. Culture and traditions
India is known for its culture and traditions. Every religion has there own cultures and traditions. Some things are engraved in our minds since we were born. For example, we are taught to always respect elders and whenever we meet someone elder, it is a normal tendency that our hands automatically folds in a ‘Namaste’ posture and we bow their feet as a sign of respect for them. Another example can be when any guest arrive at our house, we have always been taught that “Atithi Devo Bhavah”. So we treat our guest with utmost respect and make sure they do not have difficulty adjusting in our environment. Thus, these culture and traditions represent our roots.

But some cultures unintentionally sometimes make us hold on to our sorrows and losses. It was a age long tradition that a woman who is a widow should give up all the materialistic pleasures of life, wear white sarees, not apply any kind of makeup or wear any kind of ornaments, etc. But many women, including Rani Lakshmi Bai, who found fighting for her motherland more important than following the age-old tradition, opposed this tradition. Thus, it represents wings against the cultures, which are stopping us from growing and doing the right thing at the right time.

To conclude, we can say that both roots and wings are essential for the holistic development of an individual. Only roots or only wings can cause hindrance in their path to success. There can be several other meanings of roots and wings. It just depends upon how we think and where our direction of thoughts leads us. We write the pages of our own life.