Tree roots teach a lesson

By ALLEN FARLEY / Guest Columnist

Just when I thought I was going to enjoy a day of yard work and down time from politics, God tapped me on the shoulder. I was in the process of mentally plotting my attack on a tree stump I had to dig up in our front yard when there it was.

Our overcrowded state prisons, underperforming public schools and violent communities, are all very similar to the root system of my young oak tree. My beautiful 7-year-old white oak grew a very destructive root system that was directed by the poor soil the tree was planted in. No, I know what you’re thinking; I had a hat on and I was drinking plenty of water.

Can you visualize an oak tree approximately 25 feet tall with a diameter of about 10 inches just above the ground? How could that beautiful young tree be responsible for all the roots I was seeing running across our front yard and 30 feet down the side of our house? (Our yard is approximately three inches of topsoil sitting on approximately three feet of red clay).

Communities where the hope of a good meal and a safe place to sleep are a kid’s primary thoughts don’t normally result in community schools that excel. However, it does provide for a lot of opportunities for kids to blow off their anger and frustration through drugs and acts of violence. And, without being transplanted into a neighborhood with good soil, those young roots will continue to run a path of destruction all the way to an overcrowded Alabama State Prison.

Hebrews 12: 15-16 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; (16) that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

God Bless America!!!

Representative Allen Farley represents House District 15. His email address is