The Kindness Rocks Project Is A Growing Movement In Tri-W Area

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Union County has found itself part of something big- something bigger than the county, something bigger than North Carolina, and something bigger than the United States. Union County has found itself as part of the human experience, and more specifically, kindness.

In growing movement across the country, people have been painting and hiding rocks. Its sounds simple, maybe even a little funny when you first hear about it. But it’s the message behind these whimsical little gems that makes it profoundly meaningful.

Started by a lone woman who would walk the beach looking for confirmation that she was following the right path in life by searching for signs from her parents, who both passed when she was in her twenties. The movement has since taken on a life of its own. The founder, Meghan Murphy, would find comfort in the discovery of certain distinct rocks or sea glass, which she read as messages from her parents. The habit evolved into her painting encouraging messages on rocks of her own and leaving them for others to discover. The idea caught on and has become a trend spreading faster than wildfire.

The heartbeat of The Painted Rock Project, as it has come to be known, is the idea that spreading kindness can interconnect souls across humanity. That a single shared-experience between two strangers can set off a chain of events that can affect the lives of people in ways which we can never guess. The ripple-out effect is not much different than that of the Pay It Forward movement that has also become popular in recent years, where people are asked to commit an act of kindness for every act of kindness done to them.

Here in Union County, players in the “game” are gathering rocks, painting them with a unique message, mantra, or piece of optimistic art, and hiding them in secret spots. Others are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled while out and about in order to collect these little treasures left behind by fellow do-gooders.

The finder has a choice to keep or re-hide the rocks they gather but are encouraged to add as many rocks to the game as they take; or more. Their favorite finds are meant to be kept and treasured as a reminder that the world, although at times difficult and unpredictable, is also full of love and caring if we just open ourselves up to those experiences.

The Painted Rock Project is not based on a particular faith, or set of values, and is instead meant to center around the idea of all people being interconnected through the goodness that makes us collectively human. The intent is not to point out our similarities, as much as it is to remind us that despite our differences – the hiding and finding of the rock is a shared experience that takes place between two total strangers- we are all worthy and in need of compassion, empathy, and positivity. Love makes the world go around, and Kindness Rocks remind us of this fact.

If you would like to participate in the Union County Kindness Rocks Project, you can join their Facebook page by searching “Union NC Rocks” to get started. However, you can also just keep your eyes sharp while you’re out and see if you can’t spot a few painted treasures of your own.

If you need some ideas on how to begin decorating your own rocks, a quick web search of “The Painted Rock Project” will yield plenty of results, but nearly anything fun and positive will do!

Happy hiding!

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Emily Macchiavello
Emily has always had a passion for words. Although her career is in teaching, writing has never been far from her heart.
Emily is a mother of three who loves travel, fashion, yoga and generally making the most of what life has to offer. She finds happiness in raising her family in Charlotte, and takes pride in being a part of this friendly community.
Emily teaches English and Spanish at a K-8 Charter school in Charlotte, and holds a B.S in English Education and a M.A in Literature.