The shape of a person standing upright with his/her legs firmly on the ground is depicted in the Oracle script for 立. Even in its current form, the head, shoulders and ground are still apparent and the character displays a very upright and rigid quality.
The original meaning for 立 was to "Stand Up", and today it can mean to "Stand" as well as to "Setup" or "Establish." The idiom 立身处世 (Lì shēn chǔ shì), refers to someone who is active in society. It implies that the only way to build your status within society is to do things for the community, to 立 (lift up) yourself (and others) with your actions.
立 is also used as a radical in many words: 亲 (close)，产 (property)，章 (chapter), 站 (station), and 竦 (reverence).