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Last time I talked about removing problems at the root (The Root of the Problem, Part 1). Now I’m going to talk about a different root problem.

When you are gardening or growing any sort of plant, the roots need as much care as the rest of the plant, if not more care. If the leaves, stems, or branches are having a problem, pruning can sometimes take care of that. But if the roots are having a problem, your entire plant will have a problem.

Sometimes your roots are going to have something eating them. Sometimes there is a disease in them. Sometimes the dirt just doesn’t have enough nutrients. Whatever is going on, the visible part of the plant tells you that something is wrong, and if you just treat the part you can see, your plant will still be sickly and will likely die.

Sometimes when a part of our health, life, or society is showing symptoms of a problem, we treat the symptoms instead of the problem. Sometimes we confuse the symptoms as the problem. But when we look deeper, at the root cause (slight pun intended), we can treat the problem at the source and eventually the rest of the “plant” will flourish once more.

Sometimes you need to find the thing that is “eating away” at or “sickening” you, or whatever it is that has the problem. Something is consistently eroding an important foundation and you need to put a stop to it. There are all sorts of abstract life equivalents to parasitic bugs and worms.

Sometimes you need to put more “nutrition” in your life or society. You need to feed the good and not the evil. You need to supply ways for goodness to grow and flourish. Do some contributing yourself to the richness of your “soil.” Sometimes putting out fertilizer stinks, but things get better once the fertilizer is absorbed. Sometimes doing what’s right doesn’t feel good or make you popular, but goodness is always best.

Treating what you can see while ignoring the actual cause doesn’t fix problems. Finding the cause, the root, then dealing with that does fix problems.

Know which plants to pull up by the roots and which ones to nourish at the roots.