By Dylan Kaeselau
In a world that seems to push us back two steps for every one we take, a little bit of kindness can go a long way. No one understands that better than Megan Murphy, founder of The Kindness Rocks Project, a project aimed at lifting people’s spirits through rocks painted with care and a bit of optimism.
“Be the Best Version of You” and “Stand Tall” are only a few of the uplifting phrases scrolled artfully across some of the Rocks found hiding away near the Library at Cape Cod Community College (4Cs).
“This project is an innovation or an opportunity for each and every one of us to make a difference, no matter how small, in our everyday actions to make this world a better place,” said Murphy in an email interview. The beauty of these little positivity rocks is just that, their ability to make that small difference.
“Well, the project can be summed up in [this] Buddha quote,” said Murphy: “‘one moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world’.”
These uplifting little rocks could not have come at a better time. According to the American Institute of Stress, “8 in 10 college students say they have sometimes or frequently experienced stress in their daily lives…this is an increase of 20% from a survey 5 years ago.”
No one knows the value of a few kind words better than the students at 4Cs, who often work on top of attending classes.
“People have a lot going on, it’s stressful,” said 4Cs student David Watring, “when you’re holding a bad test grade in one hand and an angry phone call from your boss in the other, it’s nice to see something a little positive.”
“There are so many stories, each one inspiring in its own way,” said Murphy, who had discovered a teenager on YouTube who expressed her depression. The YouTuber, according to Murphy, said that finding a rock that said “Don’t ever give up or give in” had marked a turning point in her therapy.
“That moved me deeply,” said Murphy.
Murphy has been working diligently since the start of her project, boasting 2,000 new Facebook followers per week on her page. Facebook aside, Murphy has also been featured in The Washington Post and both NBC Boston and Channel 5 WCVB Boston. On top of all this, Murphy is on the cusp of releasing two books, one in collaboration with a local writer and one through her perspective as a life coach. To top it all off, Murphy is also creating a curriculum for grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade.
“So many schools have joined us and have created kindness rocks projects in their own schools,” said Murphy, “the teachers have asked for assistance by way of a teaching module so that is in the works…I am so excited for that!”
Undoubtedly, this project, as well as the people who contribute their time, enthusiasm and kindness have helped countless people; whether it be a little boost of confidence, or a lifeline thrown out to a drowning soul, every little bit counts.
“It’s not necessarily about the rocks,” said Murphy, “It’s about connecting with others and offering your support with empathy and compassion, and I think we all can agree that’s what we’re craving…true connection.”