For anyone looking for inspiration, rock on.
The WesternU Wellness Warriors, a group that started within University Student Affairs, has brought the Kindness Rocks Project to Western University of Health Sciences. The Kindness Rocks Project is a national movement that encourages people to leave rocks painted with inspiring messages along the path of life.
Marie Anderson, director of admissions for the colleges of dental medicine, optometry and podiatric medicine, learned about the Kindness Rocks Project from her Girl Scout Troop.
“We realized the campus community could really benefit from something like this because everybody works so hard,” Anderson said. “If students had a rock they could pick up and keep on their desk when they’re having a rough time, it could help them get through the day and make their day a little better.”
The mission of the Kindness Rocks Project is “One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life.” This fits nicely with the WesternU Wellness Warriors’ goal, which is to make everyone’s workday as nice as possible. They hold craft days, volunteer at homeless shelters and organize other events and activities to improve wellness at work.
The Wellness Warriors organized about 30 people to paint about 100 rocks on Sept. 19. Anderson, Data Entry Specialist Cameron Zavala and Academic Records Specialist II Joanna Aceves “planted” the rocks next to the clock in front of the Veterinary Clinical Center on the WesternU Esplanade on Sept. 26.
“Anybody is invited to take a rock that speaks to them,” Anderson said. “What we really want is to keep the garden growing. We want people to take rocks and also decorate a rock of their own to share with somebody else.”
Minutes after planting, the rocks were already making an impact. First-year College of Veterinary Medicine students Kaitlyn Krautkramer and Kailynne Atkinson each took a rock and said they would plant another one later.
“It’s really cool to have something beautiful and fun to spice up the week,” said Krautkramer, holding a rock with “Enjoy the journey” painted on it. “My mom always says, ‘The journey is the reward.’”
Atkinson held a rock that stated, “Why be moody when you can shake yo booty.”
“It’s just funny,” she said. “This lifts up our spirits because tests are coming up.”