In a world where rudeness and verbal sparring are par for the course, all of us appreciate a friendly word or gesture by a stranger.
For the last couple of years, I have been spotting rocks, painted in bright colors or endowed with positive messages, and they always bring a smile to my face and cheer to my soul. I usually take a photograph, and leave them in place for someone else to discover and enjoy.
Last autumn, an article in our local newspaper revealed that these isolated pieces are part of a larger puzzle. The 719 Rocks Campaign (719 being our telephone area code) was initiated by a Colorado Springs resident who had come across similar stones during a visit to a different state. She subsequently learned of the Kindness Rocks Project that began at Cape Cod in 2015 and spread from there. A local Massachusetts woman, strolling along the beach while looking for signs from her deceased parents in the form of heart-shaped stones or sea glass, felt compelled to inscribe a few with sympathetic statements. When an acquaintance of hers picked one up by happenstance, and texted her that it meant the world to her, without knowing who had placed them there, it resulted in a movement. According to the Kindness Rocks website, its stated purpose is “to cultivate connections and lift others up through simple acts of kindness.”
I am grateful to all artists, old and young, who take time and effort to create comical, cheerful, or considerate rocks to share with perfect strangers. Finding one of these care packages is a reminder of our common humanity, and of our collective need for a smile, encouragement, inspiration. Each is a tiny token of the positive power of the human heart that can overcome the bad, and a subtle suggestion to pay forward the kindness we receive.