Rock Out eases strife

Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

It goes without saying that life can be stressful — sometimes work, school and social demands just seem to pile up into a never-ending mountain of despair.

On days like this, it’s especially important to stop and smell the roses — or at least look at the colorfully painted rocks.

Beginning this summer, hundreds of decorated rocks were hidden throughout Erie as part of a local initiative called Rock Out Erie! that began as a community Facebook page.

Created in June, the page quickly gained traction as an outlet for positivity, encouraging its followers to share their artwork.

Erie is not the only area, however, to experience such a rapid growth of rock-decorating enthusiasts.

Thousands more throughout the country are joining in on the efforts to bring a little joy to people’s days.

The activity fosters creativity, encourages teamwork and invites people to explore their community. What could possibly be wrong with it?

The answer — absolutely nothing.

I cannot think of one reason why anybody would disapprove of an activity that does nothing but bring joy and promotes compassion.

In fact, the sentiment of these small acts of kindness should be replicated more often.

Everybody has days where nothing seems to be going right.

For some, the triumphant feeling of discovering one of these decorated rocks may be the sole highlight of their day.

The costs of paint are minimal when compared with the invaluable happiness the art has the potential to bring.

But these rocks do more than just improve a single person’s mood.

On a larger scale, they represent something we need to see more of in today’s divisive social and political climate: positivity that transcends all differences.

Anyone who watches the news can attest, we live in a country experiencing a great divide.

People are undoubtedly growing more different and further apart from one another, which is why random acts of kindness such as this are of great importance.

Something as simple as leaving inspirational art and notes is done without any underlying agenda, nor does it have any relation to dividing factors of politics, religion or values.

With the creators of the rocks being completely anonymous, nothing else matters besides desire to do good and make someone’s day a little bit brighter.

I believe that once people recognize the potential for positive societal change that lies within something as small as some painted rocks, we could be in for a wave of random acts of kindness that will begin to bind us all together.

So go out, buy your paint, find a rock and create some positive change in the world!