Kindness Rocks - Wisconsin Style

"In a world where you can be anything - Be Kind" - Unknown

It seems that everywhere you look in the world today, there are stories of violence, hate, and terror; the stories of love, kindness, and caring are far and few. As a mom, I look at my kids and I want better for them. I want them to see the good in the world rather than the bad and I want them to help spread the kindness. One of my favorite quotes is “In a world where you can be anything — Be Kind.” and I strive to live by those words every day in everything that I do.

A few years ago while on a walk, I saw a painted rock laying on the sidewalk. As I picked it up, I smiled at the simple gesture and put the rock in my pocket without a second thought. When my family and I were moving recently, I found that rock and again I smiled. Then and there, I decided to take action. I did some research online for painted rocks and came across the Kindness Rocks Project and I knew I had found a way to spread kindness. My son, Oliver, is a rock hunter. Everywhere we go, he finds special rocks to fill his pockets. I have washed more rocks than I care to count because I did not check his pockets before starting a load of laundry (note to self: be more observant!)

Painting the rocks was an adventure in itself. First, we sprayed the rocks with water to clean off any loose dirt or crud and then go to work to create our masterpieces. I found some acrylic paint & paintbrushes, and we set to work. (I would recommend painting outside and in old clothes — or no clothes — when using acrylic paint with little ones!) I let Oliver have creative freedom in painting the rocks, and he had a ball! By the end, there was more paint on him and the grass than on the rocks, but he had fun and that is all that matters! Once the rocks dried, I wrote positive quotes on them (you can find positive quotes in any google search). On the back, I put a piece of paper that says — “Keep or re-hide this rock. Post where you found it on Facebook — Wisconsin Kindness Rocks” using Mod Podge and then put the Mod Podge on the entire rock. (The Mod Podge helps protect the paint from the elements). Once the rocks are dry, the real fun begins!

We carry the rocks in a bag in our van and when we visit places, we “hide” a rock in plain sight. We have hidden rocks at school, our church, the post office, friends' houses, parks, and many other places; once, we hid them at a lighthouse and a woman saw us. She picked up one of the rocks and brought it over to us to thank us for placing that rock in her path. The saying on the rock was just what she needed to hear at that moment, and she was brought to tears by our kindness. She loved the idea of sharing kindness rocks, and she was going to start the project with her grand-kids. Oliver and Morgan love to be sneaky and hide rocks where ever we go and if we go back to that same location later, they love to see if their rocks have found a new home.

I created a Facebook page for our rock project — Wisconsin Kindness Rocks — to ask people where they found our rocks and where they re-hid them. It has been a fun adventure for our family to see the many places our rocks have traveled and hear the stories of how they have impacted others lives. It is not much, and we are not moving mountains, but we are doing our part to make the world a better place. I invite you to join us and spread kindness in your community.

In a world filled with doom and gloom, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi and “Throw kindness (or rocks) around like confetti.” — Unknown.

Our favorite books on sharing kindness.