On April 23, 2012, President Obama stated that “the world must not allow such ‘seeds of hate’ to take root…” Marc Daniels the visionary behind the “Weed Out Hate” national campaign agrees, in the literal and symbolic sense.
Recently, I had the pleasure to have a chat with Daniels about his innovative “seeds” campaign. I can say it was truly inspirational to learn how he has taken the simple idea of planting seeds, the same way his grandfather, an agricultural innovator did, and augment it into a message of peace. A message that Daniels feels “better connects, future generations of gardeners, and kindergartners, with nature for the higher purpose of improving the fabric of society.” The “Weed Out Hate” campaign currently targets school children in Des Moines, Iowa and Springfield, Illinois through a specialized teaching curriculum, peace rally’s, planting sunflower “peace” seeds and a call to ask the Obama administration to work towards weeding out hate from America. Daniels however feels this message can resonate with many in the USA and hopes to expand and target a national audience.
See a video and more information after the break.
According to the Weed Out Hate Website “the Initiative is now a global campaign dedicated to teaching children to symbolically root out hate, while planting seeds of peace, love and respect.” Further Daniels says that “symbolically weeding out hate is a lesson that can be taught at all levels, within the family, schools, churches, mosques, and synagogues, nationally, and even globally.” By planting seeds and learning how to spot and take out hate around them, this campaign hopes to break the cycle of hatred.
As a peacebuilder, I do believe it will take more than “the price of a single pack of sunflower flower seeds” to bring about structural change in a society. Peace requires great sacrifice, however, I do believe that symbolic acts of peace can help a society begin to brainstorm and apply a moral imagination to issues of violence and conflict. For this reason I support the “Weed out Hate” Initiative because it inspires parents and grandparents to teach their children to root out weeds with a spiritual intention, it also energizes children into a new dimension of civic engagement.
Weed Out Hate