Easy. Inexpensive. Trending. Dispenses kindness and inspiration. There’s something that does all of that and is a great fit for the public library? It’s true: Welcome to the Kindness Rocks Project. First, paint an uplifting picture or message on a small rock. Then leave it for another person to find. If it’s important to you that your library be a force for good in the world, gather some simple materials and invite library patrons to start painting.
According to the Today Show’s website, local Kindness Rocks groups are springing up around the country. The geographic groupings may be as large as your state or as small as a rural community and often form on Facebook. In my area there’s a Facebook group of more than 500 members for my county of 80,000 residents, several of whom are my Facebook friends, and they’ve found and posted the Today Show article linked above. Facebook also hosts the page for the official movement.
A quick Google search of “Kindness Rocks” brings up media coverage from a variety of newspapers, television, blogs large and small, and, of course, Pinterest. So, how did Megan Murphy, the woman behind it all, start a viral, movement that has spread across the US and to countries as diverse as Germany, Thailand, and Haiti? It began as her personal hobby, and as she saw how it touched other people she added a website and social media. For a bit more about the early days of the project, including the anonymity Murphy used at first, check out this post on the Scary Mommy blog.
Whether a painted rock has a greeting-card-like sentiment, a quote from Nelson Mandela, or a simple smiley face, it could be just what someone needs when it’s found. It can be artistically beautiful or very rudimentary. The fact that there is no one “right” way to inspire another person makes this a potential library project for any and all ages and events.
If the word “paint” makes alarm bells go off in your head, simply prep-paint the base coat color onto the rocks prior to your public event and reduce the needed supplies to markers. You also have plenty of options to make it part of a larger, themed experience. It could easily fit an event or emphasis on friendship, diversity, mental health, art, or communication.
Your audience may also respond to the simple invitation to be the creative force behind stealthy and random acts of kindness. After all, kindness really does rock.