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Cape Cod’s Kindness Rocks Project

Little messages can have a big impact, Cape Cod Life, April 2017 |

During a recent visit to Sandy Neck Beach, Megan Murphy holds up one of her uplifting messages. The West Barnstable resident is the founder of the Kindness Rocks Project. Photographs by Denise Barker

“I found myself walking the beach looking for signs during that difficult time of transition,” Murphy recalls. “On days that I would find things like heart-shaped rocks or pieces of sea glass, I felt happy, and I felt like these were signs I was heading in the right direction.” On one particular Sandy Neck stroll in March of 2015, Murphy began to think maybe she wasn’t alone—maybe others were looking for signs from the universe, too. That day, she wrote messages on five rocks, each about the size of a golf ball, and scattered them along her two-mile route. “I was really insecure about it,” she says. “I’m a middle-aged woman. What am I doing leaving messages on rocks?”

Some might consider what happened next a moment of fate. “That night,” Murphy says, “a friend of mine texted me a photograph of a rock with the message ‘You’ve got this!’ and asked, ‘Did you drop this on the beach today? If it was you, I just want to let you know how it made me feel. I was having a bad day, and it really made me happy.’ That was the moment I realized this isn’t weird, this is good.”

Murphy continued leaving messages on rocks at the beach, collecting and then painting some 200 a week that summer. At the suggestion of her youngest daughter, Madelyn, Murphy began adding a hashtag on the back of the rocks so their visibility could be tracked. In coming up with the hashtag, Murphy explains that she decided to call what she was doing the “Kindness Rocks Project” as a way to indicate the intention of goodwill that was behind the rocks and also as a play on the idea that kindness rocks. The handle “#thekindnessrocksproject” became so prevalent on Facebook and Instagram, Murphy says, that social media pages and a website soon followed. Messages began to flood in from people sharing their own kindness rocks stories and who were looking to join the movement.

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