Kindness Rock Project spreads across county, country

Kindness Rock Project spreads across county, country

7 27 17

The Issue: More communities have become places in which words of inspiration and encouragement can be found.

Our View: Anything that gives people a reason to put down their phone and get out into the community is a good thing.

For the last couple of years, there’s been a trend in several area communities. People have begun putting their cell phones down long enough to paint some rocks and hide them — often in plain sight — around their community.

Locally, we first noticed people in Carlinville painting rocks and hiding them last year. The movement, called Carlinville Rocks, has become popular in Farmersville, Benld, Gillespie and Staunton as well. People find the rocks and either keep them or re-hide them for someone else to find.

A little digging shows the movement, which is known as the Kindness Rock Project, began a few years ago in Cape Cod, Mass., when Megan Murphy, a women’s empowerment coach and regular beach walker, found inspiration in the rocks and sea glass she found while walking. “During difficult or stressful moments in my life, I found myself looking for ‘signs’ on my morning walk, such as a heart shaped rock or a piece of sea glass,” she said. “I perceived these small beach treasures as ‘signs’ or as a divine message and the random inspiration I needed to signify that things would be OK.”

Eventually, in an effort to share and enhance the inspiration, Murphy began painting inspirational messages or encouraging words on the rocks and spreading them along the beach for others to find. “If one person finds a rock with a message that speaks to them during a difficult time, our efforts have made a difference! Our goal is to encourage others to find cool creative ways to reach out and brighten someone’s day unexpectedly whether it be through kindness rocks, love notes, random acts of generosity… the sky’s the limit!”

Since that time, the movement has spread to all 50 states and to other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, India, Thailand, Haiti, Italy and England.

What’s interesting is communities participating in the in the project often post photos of the rocks they’ve painted on social media. In turn, people who find the rocks often photograph them and do the same. This provides the opportunity for the hiders to see in whose hands their rocks have landed. The finders either keep the rocks or hide them again.

We love that such a simple process has gained so much steam in so many parts of the country. While not all rocks provide an inspirational or encouraging message, they are still exciting to find. The project encourages people to put down their cell phones and get out into their communities. Unlike the Pokemon Go trend, the Kindness Rock Project has fewer people walking into moving traffic and utility poles while staring at their phones looking for imaginary characters.

The project continues to make its way into other towns in a number of ways. Often, people will find a rock in one town, then hide it in another, which encourages people in the second town to participate if they haven’t already done so. It creates connections among people and towns, as well. If a photo is posted on social media of a rock one has just painted and another person finds the rock and does the same, even if the two people don’t know each other, a connection has been made between them. With a project like this, the number of potential connections is endless.

We hope the momentum behind this project can be maintained. It’s wonderful seeing people out and about trying to find these little treasures. It’s good for communities, it’s good for families and it’s good for individuals.