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Cape Cod’s Kindness Rocks Project

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

Photograph by Denise Barker

When Hall got home that day, she looked up the hashtag she found on the rock and read about the Kindness Rocks Project—and could not wait to get involved. “The most wonderful part about painting the Kindness Rocks for me, in going through breast cancer” Hall says, “is that it was a way to escape. It was like therapy.” Hall, who has painted close to 1,000 rocks—and left them around Barnstable, along Route 6A, in Provincetown, and even in Boston—says the project has also helped her rediscover a long-lost passion for art. “It has become a big part of who I am,” she says.

Murphy smiles, even gets teary, when hearing stories such as these. Offering a message of kindness to someone, anyone—including those one doesn’t know—is simple and easy to do, and Murphy says gestures of kindness are needed today more than ever. “Kindness,” she says, “is awesome in any form.”

Hall and Johnson agree. “When you turn on the TV and look at the newspapers, it’s all negative,” says Hall, “and this project really uplifts people and brings so much joy. As little as it is, it’s big.” To Johnson, the rocks foster kindness and unity. “The Kindness Rocks Project gets at the root of what we all crave and need: love and connection. It has connected so many people, and it’s all connecting back to the fact that we’re all here to walk each other home.”

Looking ahead, Murphy says she plans to write a book based on the stories those affected by the project have shared with her. She also plans to sell 3” x 3” square “random-act-of-kindness” cards featuring photos of Kindness Rocks, which people can pass along for others to take. Murphy says the cards, which will be available in the future on the Kindness Rocks Project website, are another way for individuals to get involved.

Today, Murphy still finds herself walking on Sandy Neck Beach, and she often contemplates, in humble astonishment, how she ended up the leader of what is now a global movement. “I don’t know why I’m supposed to be doing this,” Murphy says, “but I am—and I’m in.”

Haley Cote is the staff writer for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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