I received a text a few weeks back from my stepdaughter that asked the simple question “How do you paint a rock?” My immediate response was “With a brush” which was not exactly the answer she was fishing for. Not finding the humor in my response, she explained that she needed a hobby and wanted to participate in The Kindness Rock Project. She didn’t go into much detail about the project itself, she was more interested in picking my brain for my artistic expertise, but I was intrigued by the idea so I investigated it on my own.
The Kindness Rock Project was started by Megan Murphy, a Women’s Empowerment Coach and freelance writer from Cape Cod. To help cope with the grief of losing both parents, Megan would walk the beach daily looking for “signs” to guide her in the absence of her parents. I immediately felt a connection to the idea, as I believe we all can. Who hasn’t at one point or another walked a beach or a trail in the woods, those introspective quiet walks, looking to the Universe for guidance? I believe we all have. Megan began writing simple messages with sharpie on the rocks she would find, and place them back down for others to find. Megan had only written on 5 rocks that first day, so when a friend called her to tell her she had found this rock and that it made her day, Megan took that as a sign. The Kindness Rock Project was born.
The website states very simply “The Kindness Rock Project was created to spread inspiration and a moment of kindness for unsuspecting recipients through random rocks along the way.” What started out on a stretch of beach in Cape Cod, Kindness Rocks have been created and found all over the United States as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, India, Thailand, Haiti, Italy and England. Immediately the lightbulb went off in my brain.
As an artist, I offer a summer Art Camp during the month of July. I knew immediately I wanted to do this project with my kids. The enthusiasm it was greeted with left me feeling like my decision would leave a lasting, positive impact on these young hearts. I was astounded at the way they grabbed onto this idea and could barely wait to start spreading their rocks around for people to find. We included the hashtag #thekindnessrockproject and #cozkidzrock on the backs of each rock so they could register them on the website the and track their travels via Instagram or Facebook.
To my delight as we brainstormed some inspirational and happy sayings, I overheard the kids saying things like “Wouldn’t it be cool to leave random post it notes like this around school in case someone is being bullied” and “I’ve had days where if I found this rock it would have made my day”. We talked about how important it was to be kind to one another, sharing stories of how the little things in life can make such a difference in the world as we painted hearts and peace signs and kind words. It was truly an amazing and heartwarming experience for me.
Watch out for kindness rocks when you are out and about. Share them. Make them. Pass them along. If you stumble across one with the hashtag #cozkidzrock you will know the random act of kindness that you found was painted with love by one of my awesome students.
To find out more, or better yet…to participate in the Kindness Rock Project, visit their website and start spreading the love! www.thekindnessrocksproject.com
photos by Rose Lipke