Kindness rocks decorate paths with uplifting messages

Photo by Rachel Agnello

Sharp-eyed students on campus may begin to see colorful rocks decorated with inspirational messages, as Ramapo’s Social Work Club brings the Kindness Rocks Project to campus in order to brighten students’ days.

The Kindness Rocks Project was started by life coach Meagan Murphy: Inspired by the joy one of her friends experienced after seeing rocks in the shape of a heart left on a beach, Murphy began writing messages on the rocks she started to leave on the beach. Eventually, Murphy’s personal project spawned hundreds of smaller subgroups in towns across the country, and most recently at Ramapo’s campus with the help of the Social Work Club.

“One message at just the right time can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life,” reads Murphy's website on the project.

Social Work Club Treasurer Rachel Agnello said that she first discovered the idea through Facebook when she joined a group called Bergen County Rocks. The group was dedicated to a community of people who decorated rocks and hid them all over the county.

“I thought it was such a simple idea but so meaningful as well,” said Agnello, a junior. “I wanted to bring it to Ramapo because I thought it would be a great way for students to help bring smiles to people's faces.”

The goal of the project is to spread kindness and brighten someone’s day when they least expect it.

“College students have so much on their plates and sometimes they don't know how they're going to get everything done,” said Angello. “I know if I looked down and saw a rock that said, "You can do it!" it would encourage me to keep going.

At their meeting on Monday, club members got together to decorate rocks to hide around campus. The messages on them included motivational sayings such as “Good Vibes Only,” “You Matter” and “Find Your Own Happiness.”

“It’ll definitely bring positivity to the Ramapo community,” said Social Work Club Vice President Lauren Semanchick, “because it’s something small but something noticeable too.”

The rocks are then hidden in plain sight around campus for members of the community to find. People who find the rocks are welcome to either keep it, leave it where they found it or hide it again for someone else to find.

“I'm hoping that these rocks give the Ramapo community encouragement and inspiration when they least expect it,” Agnello said. “I also hope that it inspires other groups to participate in ‘paying it forward’ projects. Sometimes the simplest gestures can go a long way.”

However, their most important goal is to spread happiness around campus.

“I saw a rock that said ‘just keep swimming’ last week and it made my day, just because it had a little positive message on it,” said Semanchick. “It’ll definitely bring smiles to everyone.”