Monday, March 7, 2011

Encourage Kids to Weed Out Hate

I recently wrote a post called Zen and the Art of Landscape Maintenance which talked about how relaxing and rewarding the act of weeding by hand can be.

But fellow gardener Marc Daniels has taken the therapeutic value of weeding a step further. In his Weed Out Hate campaign, Marc suggests that we should teach young children the challenges of weeding by hand as a lesson in weeding out hatred in the world. Highlighted text is from the Weed out Hate website.

Give them a head start by moistening the soil and using a trowel to loosen the root structure. Allow them to tug on the weed. Show them how weed-extracting aids work and inspire them to try to duplicate the functionality with their fingers. In this manner, they not only learn how embedded the roots of prejudice really are, but how much concentration and stamina it requires to properly extract them. 

The kindergardening concept was created in in Germany by Pedagogue Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel in the 19th century as a means to an ends—a method for exercising a child’s spirit as well as the mind and body. Most of us are unaware that the word kindergarten means kindergardening and not just pre-school with recess. The Weed Out Hate Initiative works because it provides needed exercise for our children. Additionally, it enables them to root out weeds throughout the school landscape, and, in the process, teaches a valuable lesson about weeding out bias and prejudice.

Daniel's Weed Out Hate campaign encourages children to email President Obama and voice their support for a White House Peace Seed Planting on August 28, 2011 - the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's famous "I have a dream speech."

Join the cause and help Weed Out Hate 

Some forty seven years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to the nation, much of his “promised land” vision has come to fruition. Unfortunately, there are still persistent weed seeds of hate that remain embedded in our collective consciousness, hindering our success as individuals and as a society. 

Let’s Finish with Our Hands what Dr. King Started with His Heart and Soul.

We, the kindergardeners of America, desire to complete the job that Dr. King started. Just as weeds compete for nutrients and water that cultivated garden plants require, our inner weed seeds, the germs of prejudice and hate, prevent us from experiencing our deepest root-connections to nature. With the right intention, removing weeds from our yards and gardens can serve as a paradigm for eradicating the inner weeds of hate and prejudice that many of us harbor and too often suppress. The physical act of weeding,therefore, enables us individually and collectively to realize Dr. King’s dream for a world free of hate and prejudice for one and all. 

Your Voices Can and Will Be Heard.

Just a few generations ago, teachers from all over the country asked their students to write President Nixon, asking him to remove phosphates from detergents. This grassroots campaign displayed the power of children’s voices in formulating policy. E-mail President Obama today and voice your support for a White House Peace Seed planting on August 28th, 2011, the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

For more information, visit: Weed Out Hate

This is such a clever campaign that I wanted to pass it on. I hope you will too!

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