On my morning walk in a local park recently I found a painted rock in the fork of a tree with the adage “Every cloud has a silver lining”. I took a photo and continued on my way figuring someone else might benefit from seeing it. Later I remembered seeing something on line, somewhere, about painted rocks.
It didn’t take me long to find the Kindness Rocks Project which “promotes random acts of kindness to unsuspecting recipients by painting and dropping inspirational rocks. Because….. one message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day…outlook…life!”
Started in Cape Cod, USA, by Megan Murphy this movement has captured people’s imagination and spread worldwide no doubt because of it’s inherent simplicity. Basically all you need is a rock and a sharpie – you can be as creative as you want decorating your rock – or not.
Kindness seems to be in short supply in our world at times – especially on social media. It’s sad that people feel they have a right to tear others down with their words. There’s a Bible verse in Proverbs that says life and death is in the power of the tongue and it’s so true – words can lift people up or destroy them.
There’s enough hate in our world so a groundswell of kindness helps to push back this darkness. A kind word or deed might be enough to keep someone going when all else seems lost. I’ve seen it, read it, heard about it enough to know it’s immense value.
I’m a huge fan of written encouragement- whether in the form of a pre-printed card to pass along, a handwritten note or card and yes even an text or message.
My adult children sometimes give me a hard time because I send messages after a ballet performance I’ve attended to some of the dancers. I figured it might be nice to have some support from someone other than family and friends.
I mean who takes the time to hand write cards and notes these days? I can assure you, taking a few minutes to write something encouraging will be more meaningful to the recipient.
I recall the Headmaster of my kids’ school being appreciative of a positive note I had written about an event. Most people he said wrote to him to complain about an issue – not many to thank and encourage.
Sure there were times I needed to complain about an issue but I tried to compliment and encourage way more. I would hate to have been ‘that parent’ who was perceived as always negative and whinging about something. Hopefully the good outweighed the bad.
Of course kindness isn’t restricted to written encouragement.
One local school nearby has ARK day – Acts of Random Kindness and as part of this, they come up with activities to bless other students and staff.
I also know of an initiative called Blessing Bears. These are small, very cute bears that are given as encouragement for others. There is a card attached that reads ‘I am a little blessing bear, I’ve come to live with you. To Help you when your down or if you’re felling blue. If you feel discouraged and don’t know what to do. Just hold me close and know that someone is thinking about you.”
It really doesn’t take much to be kind – the simple act of letting someone with two or three grocery items ahead of you in a checkout when you have a full trolley. Contacting the owner of the dog tag you find when walking so you can return the collar.
In our busy lives, we all need to take a bit of time to spread some kindness and encouragement to others we come across during our day.
“We may never truly know the reach of an act of kindness or the mark that it leaves on a life.” ~ Topaz