I am writing, slowly, the story of my life and I wanted to share the introduction to it with you because I think the message is one you need to hear. Too often as writers we allow our voices to be stilled and silenced because we are afraid that we don’t have anything to say that someone will see as worthwhile or valuable. I am on a mission to change that, and this is part of that journey.
Child of Hope: Introduction
A child does not know that a dandelion is a weed. They do not know that people spend thousands of dollars trying to get rid of dandelions. They only know that, to their eyes, dandelions are beautiful. They grasp the stems of dandelions in their chubby little fists, and pull upward with all their might, until the dandelion is freed from its anchor and they have claimed their reward.
Then they take this treasure and present this incredible gift of nature to the adult who means most to them. Most of us accept this gift with mild amusement, thinking ourselves so much wiser than the child because we know what the child does not – this is no treasure, this is a weed. It is a blight upon our lawns, a source of endless frustration to us, and nearly impossible to exterminate no matter how hard we try.
We are the Ignorant Ones
Most of us do not realize that the child is right, and we are wrong. We have accepted someone else’s evaluation of their worth as the truth. We believed what we were told by other adults. We believed the dandelion is a weed to be gotten rid of rather than a treasure to be valued and cultivated.
This is because we do not know the dandelion. We do not study it, examine it, and try to understand it.
Our Ignorance Leads Us to Miss Out
So we miss out on the fact that dandelion root is a powerful antidote to heavy metal toxins. That it is full of vitamins and minerals. That its leaves can be used in salads, its heads are edible as well. It can grow almost anywhere, with very little effort on our part, in almost any condition.
We miss out on the treasure because we assume it is worthless. We assume, incorrectly, that only rare things have value. Dandelions aren’t rare. They are about as common as you get. You don’t need a hothouse to grow them, or special skills. But just because others cannot see their worth does not mean they are worthless. They are common, but they are not ordinary because they carry within them the extraordinary. They are valuable, even if no one knows their value.
Dandelions Go On Growing
It is impossible to tell, at least in the modern era, whether or not dandelions are aware of how unwanted they are. They continue to push their cheerful yellow heads above the dirt, refusing to give way to their more cultured sisters, and to grow in spite of every obstacle. They grow their roots down deep, standing their ground, refusing to be dislodged by either famine or flood. They remain when other plants have been washed away or dried out.
They live short lives before turning into happy puffballs of seeds which provide delight to children everywhere, who love to take hold of them and blow on them, watching their seeds float away on the wind. Dandelions manage to continue despite our best efforts to eradicate them by making themselves appealing to the innocent of mind and heart, by refusing to give up, by standing their ground, and by insisting that they be allowed a place in the same gardens where roses and tulips are cultivated.
The Dandelion Is My Symbol
I love Dandelions. It is my symbol, a reminder not to accept someone else’s evaluation of my worth as the truth. It is my reminder not to believe the negative things I have been told about myself. I am not a weed to be removed. I am a treasure to be valued and cultivated.
I know that the reason others do not value me is because they do not know me. That they do not value me is a reflection of their ignorance and not of my worth. But I know that I can change this. I can continue to push my head above the dirt, to put my roots down deep, and to stand my ground, refusing to be dislodged by famine or flood.
I know that because I am common does not mean that I am ordinary because I carry within me the extraordinary. I am not rare, but that doesn’t mean I am not valuable. Just because others cannot see my worth does not mean that I am worthless. I am valuable, even if others cannot see my value.
I can continue to let my cheerful face attract those of innocent heart and mind, providing them what delights and amuses them, and in so doing gain their help in carrying my message further than I could on my own.
I can thrive almost anywhere. I insist that I be allowed a place in the same places where the more cultivated gather. I grow despite the obstacles presented me. I may live a short life, but I am full of things that others need, and I know that my death is not the end but the beginning of allowing my message to be spread.
I am a dandelion person, a child of hope, one who believes that my life is worth living and who knows that I have valuable contributions to make.
Why I Write This
I write these words to encourage you to become a dandelion person. To refuse to accept someone else’s evaluation of your worth as the truth. To refuse to believe the negative things you have been told about yourself. You are not a weed to be removed. You are a treasure to be valued and cultivated.
The reason others do not value you is because they do not know you. That they do not value you is a reflection of their ignorance and not of your worth. But know that you can change this. You can continue to push your head above the dirt, to put your roots down deep, and to stand your ground, refusing to be dislodged by famine or flood.
I write to remind you that because you are common does not mean you are ordinary, because you carry within you the extraordinary. You are not rare, but that does not mean you are not valuable. Just because others cannot see your worth does not mean you are worthless. You are valuable, even if others cannot see your value.
You can continue to let your cheerful face attract those of innocent heart and mind, providing them what delights and amuses them, and in so doing gain their help in carrying your message further than you could on your own.
I write these words to remind you that you can thrive almost anywhere and to insist that you be allowed a place in the same places where the more cultivated gather. You can grow in spite of the obstacles presented you. You may live a short life, but you are full of things that others need, and your death is not the end but the beginning of allowing your message to be spread. Be a dandelion person, and refuse to allow the world to exterminate the goodness that is within you.