The Kindness Rocks Project is an initiative which encourages people to pay it forward by leaving rocks painted with inspiring messages along the path of life.
The grassroots movement was started by American mother Megan Murphy, from Cape Cod, who believes that one message at the right moment can change another person’s day, outlook and, ultimately, their life.
“I lost my mom and dad when I was in my early twenties, before I had children. I’d go to the beach and look for signs from them, something to tell me that I was on the right track in life.
“If I saw a heart-shaped rock, I’d think it was from my dad, and if I saw a piece of sea glass, it would be from my mom.
“Every time it happened, I’d think, it’s OK, I’ve got this! I’m going in the right direction.
“But it also made me realise that all the answers that I needed were actually in me.”
It was like they were looking for something
Visiting the seafront every day, Megan began to take notice of the other walkers around her.
“I realised that a lot of the people on the beach had the same expression on their face as me. It was like they were looking for something; contemplating.
“One day, when I was leaving work, I saw a Sharpie on the counter and picked it up and took it with me on my walk. I looked around to check no-one was looking and I started writing messages of hope on the rocks.”
Later that evening, Megan got a message from a friend of hers, who had visited the beach after her.
“She texted me a picture of one of my rocks on the beach! I couldn’t believe it. There are millions of rocks on that beach and I only dropped five!
“I immediately said that I didn’t know anything about it, but that it was really cool that someone would do that.
“She replied and said, ‘If you did drop this rock, it made my day. The message meant so much’.”
Spreading hope and kindness across the globe
Spurred on by this, Megan continued to leave inspirational messages on her daily walk for other beach walkers to find. But it wasn’t until she shared an image of one of her rocks on social media in 2015 that the trend caught on.
The project now has over a thousand registered rock painting groups internationally in countries like the UK, India, Mexico and Australia, spreading hope and kindness across the globe.
“The response has just been amazing,” Megan says. “I receive messages from rock painters all around the world, telling me how much they enjoy getting involved. And I get lots of wonderful messages of hope from recipients, too.
“I try my best to respond to each and every person because that’s what matters.
“It’s not really about the rocks – it’s about the people. It’s about putting kindness out into the world without expecting anything in return.
“That’s what true kindness is all about!”
Remember when we encouraged our readers to take part in “Random Acts Of Kindness Day”? Click here for another look at our suggestions. They’re just as relevant now!