Having grown in up the San Francisco Bay Area, I was blessed to truly know and see the beauty of diversity in action. It wasn’t until I was raising my four children away from that particular metropolis that I realized how much I longed for it. We had lived in Oakland, California for only a few short years, but they have shaped who I am and how I choose to raise my children more than anywhere else I have ever lived (and I’ve moved just over 20 times in my 31 years). I claim Oakland as home.
When I close my eyes I can see so vividly all the different walks of life intertwined, mingling blissfully as I walked around the path of the lake found in the thick of downtown. I can inhale deeply and remember identifying no less than three or four restaurants or food trucks of different ethnicities with smells I wanted to pinpoint so badly and taste. Music blasted from every corner: a portable speaker on a bike riding by, a car stopped at a street light with bass that rattled their windows and my bones, the intricate beat of a group of friends who brought drums, drinks, and a picnic blanket for an afternoon jam. A city where anyone can find a place to belong and be accepted.
When we moved away, I racked my brain for how I could replicate this environment for my children. The truth was, I simply couldn’t. But what I could do was seek out opportunities to find and experience other cultures nearby our new town. We could essentially curate opportunities to step outside the familiar and experience the different, the strange, the foreign. But this would take quite a bit of legwork on my end. Was it worth it? Why did I want this so desperately for my children? And it finally clicked: we fear and reject what we don’t know-- it’s a natural, human, gut reaction. By taking small steps into the unknown, we are able to familiarize, find commonalities with, and learn to respect and maybe even love what was once strange and uncomfortable. We learn to care and be kind. I wanted to raise self-aware, compassionate kids, who saw differences as opportunities. And yes, it was worth it.
Mighty Kind started out as a wishful request sent out to the universe in early 2018. Wanting to be able to share the experience of these curated ideas, lessons, peeks into different parts of the world, and service opportunities beyond just my own children, I daydreamed about walking into a big bookstore chain one day and seeing a family magazine on the shelf who’s pages held these wonderful gems with more to come issue after issue. Bright, bold and modern, I envisioned my children bringing different issues to me night after night wanting to explore them as a family for years to come.
After almost a year of daydreaming, I woke up and realized that kindness cannot wait another day. It was needed yesterday, it is needed today, and it will always be needed for all the tomorrows ahead. So why not me? And why not now? I have been fortunate to be able to hand-pick a team of passionate, driven, open-minded, selfless mothers to join me on this adventure in creating Mighty Kind. They have been an answered prayer and a thrill to work with in bringing Mighty Kind to life.
Children all over the world are capable of goodness, kindness and compassion-- they just need the tools and encouragement to give them those little, frequent nudges to remind them that they hold big power in their small hands. And reminded that there is no act of kindness too small. When we raise children to evaluate differences with respect and empathy and encourage them to act generously, we will see a rising generation of global citizens who find it second nature to change the world for the better every single day.