“No act of kindness however small is ever wasted.”
In the summer of 1969, Nixon was president, Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Woodstock happened, the Youngbloods sang about everybody getting together, Otis Redding was sitting on the dock of the bay, the Mamas and the Papas were California Dreamin’, and Bob Dylan was like a rolling stone.
I was riding ponies, chasing barnyard fowl, playing in the creek, and looking for rocks. Always rocks. I was vaguely aware of current events and barely understood the significance of the civil rights movement, politics, or a war called Vietnam.
What I did fully understand was my dad was gone, my mom was sad, and money was hard to come by.
There was a long one-lane dirt driveway that led to the houses in our neighborhood and it was lined with magnificent and stately pine trees. There was always a soft carpet of brown, earthy scented needles on the ground, and that’s where I decided to set-up my very own business.
I found scrap lumber discarded in the woods and leaned the pieces against each other to make a stand. My Granddad always marked his tools with red paint so I borrowed that to make a sign. I used my Radio Flyer to haul inventory from the house and back yard. And by 5:00 o’clock that evening, I had a Rocks For Sale shop open for business. Just in time for the neighbors who would be returning home from work. Down the one and only road that lead to their homes. Convenient.
I loved rocks dearly and would search for hours for the most beautiful and interesting ones. I cleaned, polished and displayed these treasures in my room, on the porch, and in my tree house. Every time I looked at them, I found comfort and joy. But our family needed extra income and I decided in all of my childish wisdom, I could contribute by selling my prized possessions.
As the neighbors kindly stopped to examine the wares, I pointed out why one rock might be a better choice over another based on its size or color or shape. It was difficult to watch them go to their new homes, but it was for the greater good, I reasoned. I even received a quarter for one of them. It was my biggest sale.
I spent that summer as the proprietor of the rock stand of Coal River Road. And I admit, it felt pretty good being a contributing member of society and adding to my family’s bottom line.
But here I am today, an artist with a passion for kindness and an ever-present affection for rocks. Which explains why I instantly fell in love when I learned about The Kindness Rocks Project.
A friend of mine, Jan, teaches 5th Grade and when I told her about it she invited me to share it with her students. I had already made some rocks, so she hid them in her classroom the day before my arrival and when the kids found them and inquired, she gave them the story of how this project began and about its founder, Megan Murphy.
This gave the students first-hand familiarity with the concept and when I showed up the next day with undecorated rocks, a slew of gel pens, paper clip art, glue, paint, and brushes, the kids knew just what to do.
Creativity was claimed, smiles were aplenty, and kindness ruled the gathering. The kids shared where they planned to place their creations in the community. Some of them wanted to give them to friends or family members. They looked so proud and pleased and happy. The room had a terrific, positive vibe.
The Kindness Rocks Project is founded on creativity, imagination, thoughtfulness, and of course, kindness. Its purpose is to lift others, encourage, and spread positivity. Founded by Megan Murphy, visit The Kindness Rocks Project to learn more or learn how you can be involved.
It was one of those Best Day Ever days for me and I’m pretty sure the kids loved it too. They asked me to come back after Christmas, which I plan to do.
Rock on my friends, rock on.
Click on the link (or video) below to see moments from our Kindness Rocks day.