Our character is like the root system of a tree. The deeper and healthier the root system of a tree, the stronger and more fruitful the tree will be. If the tree has a weak, diseased root system, it will be unhealthy and bear little or no fruit. To produce better fruit, we fee and water the roots of the tree. We know the roots are healthy when better fruit blossoms.
Just as fruit gives an indication of the condition of the roots of a tree, our attitudes, words, and actions signal the nature of our character. Just as strengthening the character of an individual helps produce better words, actions, and attitudes.
"Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." —Thomas Paine