My One Cent: Kimber Huntington Webb

"We can find strength in each other – connect and grow together."

February 21, 2018

I grew up on a small farm in the Northwest and as far back as I can remember I have felt a deep connection to animals and the forest. I struggled with my connections to people, but always felt close to those without a voice. My advocacy for animals and the environment began in high school. I was compelled to shout from the rooftops.

In my late twenties, I began working with seriously ill children and their families. One night in a hospital, a little girl crawled into my lap and changed me forever. She didn’t speak English, but her innocence, wrapped in a mix of sadness, uncertainty and sweet joy, spoke to me on levels I didn’t know existed. 

Today, in my early forties, I am a mother of two. Personally, I have never been so fulfilled and full of that sweet joy, but the world around me seems to be falling apart. I struggle to stay connected with the news. There are days when I don’t want to look outside my bubble. But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be true to myself and I wouldn’t be teaching my children to value the lives of others.

My eight-year-old son is my cohort in kindness. Our mantra each day is to “Be strong. Be brave. And above all else be kind!” I don’t like to admit it, but a dedication to kindness is new to me. My generation of women needed to focus on toughness, grit – a knock you down if you stand in my way fortitude.  In many ways this focus has served me well, but something was always missing. The concept of kindness was quaint and ineffective to my young self, but as a mother, standing in the chaos of our current world it is the ideal of kindness that grounds me.

It takes strength to be kind. It takes bravery to be kind. I see myself and other CARE advocates taking root in kindness and as the winds of sadness, uncertainty, greed, and cruelty surround us we can find strength in each other – connect and grow together. We will need grit, toughness, and undaunted fortitude – but our roots, our connections are kindness.