I’m the worst gardener ever. For years, I’ve been trying to teach my kids the joy of growing our own veggies. I usually just end up with a patch of weeds.
Now after learning about a new and amazing idea of using simple gardening concepts to attack intolerance and racism at its roots, I will be pulling out my weeds with a renewed vigor. Those little buggers don’t stand a chance in my garden of peace.
Springfield businessman Marc Daniels, whose grandfather was an avid gardener and inventor of the Ross Root-Feeder, wants us all to look at hate as weeds in a garden. Those weeds should be eliminated.
“What I want to do is use this Weed Out Hate idea to transform people’s hearts and souls,” said Daniels, who is proclaiming April 3 as National Weed Out Hate Day. He’s encouraging all of us to plant something wonderful on that day, preferably with the help of friends whose backgrounds differ greatly from our own.
How many of us make the effort to seek out those who are different from us? Maybe it is a person of a different religion. Maybe it is a person who looks different. It doesn’t matter. If we take the symbolic step of joining hands to Weed Out Hate, planting the seeds of peace won’t be far behind.
Daniels freely acknowledges that his ideas aren’t brand new. Many of his beliefs were tried in the 1960’s but failed because people couldn’t admit the hate in their hearts. To get past it, you have to admit the hate in your heart. Take a good look. It’s worth it. Really.
“Trying to sow the seeds of peace and love without first addressing the weeds of hate is like putting on makeup without cleansing the pores,” Daniels said.
But if we start now with our children, they might stand a chance. As parents, how many of us want to see our kids grow up to be haters? I know I don’t.
So, on April 3, take the time to weed out that garden. Invite your friends. The more diverse, the better. And perhaps you may find out that when you all join hands to pull the weeds, you really aren’t so different from each other.
To help you along on this journey, Daniels is selling sunflower seeds that represent the plants of peace. Also, he and Daimyo Jackson, a German Michael Jackson action show performer, have developed music to help you in this journey to Weed Out Hate. April 3, by the way, was selected because it marks the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech, titled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”
Daniels’ efforts have already attracted the attention of government leaders, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Daniels said his dream is to have the president invite school children to sow the seeds of peace at the White House. On the topic of school children, Daniels does offer packets of sunflower seeds and the music disc to teachers looking to start the Weed Out Hate curriculum at school. Check out the website for details and fees.
“It sounds on the surface as very naive, but it’s a kind of symbolism that would transform everything,” Daniels said. His plan is to promote Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January as a day to think about Weed Out Hate and planting a garden of peace.
As a mom, I’m in. Are you?