With great influence comes an even greater responsibility: Each of us has a responsibility to treat one another with kindness and respect. With a very large following, this takes a lot of time and energy, so one has to remain committed.
As a part of my series about social media stars who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Megan Murphy
Megan Murphy is a Women’s Empowerment Coach, Business Mentor, Kindness Activist, Meditation Instructor, Author and Lecturer.
She is a business mentor for SCORE, Freelance Writer, and Founder of The Kindness Rocks Project an International grassroots kindness initiative. She resides on Cape Cod, MA with her husband, three daughters and two giant dogs.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Although I am so grateful for my current role as Founder of an international grassroots kindness initiative at a time when our world needs more kindness and compassion, I did not choose this role, the role chose me!
During a difficult moment in my own personal life, I began walking the beach looking for guidance and inspiration from above when I realized that others walking that very same beach may also be doing the same thing. That is when I pulled a sharpie marker out of my pocket and began leaving uplifting messages on rocks for others along the way. Soon my personal hobby gained a lot of attention and people began reaching out to me asking how they could join my movement. I added social media pages and a website to both show others how to participate as well as share their stories and the impact that they were making in their communities. Before long, what started as a personal hobby grew into an International Kindness movement of many. Today, I travel around the US speaking about the importance of kindness and compassion.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
There have been so many stories that have been shared with me from project members who believe that the messages they found on rocks were the answers that they were looking for or that they needed a moment of kindness at the very moment that they stumbled upon a rock. Personally, I believe that this project was waiting for someone to create it. It didn’t matter who created it, but the world needed an outlet where people from around the world could connect through something as simple as a rock to share kindness and inspiration for one another. On the very first day that I dropped just five rocks with inspirational messages on a mile and a half stretch of beach loaded with rocks, one of my friends found one of my five rocks and texted me a picture of it and asked if I had left it on the beach that day. She recognized my handwriting and knew that I walked that beach each day and said, “if it was you that dropped this thank you. I was having a bad-day and this lifted my spirits.” Had she not texted me that day, I am not sure that I would have continued doing it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The mistake that I first made was when I went hiking with some friends and I brought a painted rock to the top of a mountain and left it there. The saying was “Climb the mountain to see the world not so the world can see you.” I did not realize that leaving a painted rock on a mountain was in violation of LNT-Leave No Trace practices and that my inspirational rock was viewed as harmful. I was devastated when I learned about this and decided that I would educate others about Leave no trace so that they would not make the same mistake that I had made.
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
I truly believe that anyone who is an Influencer, has a responsibility to impact others in a positive way. One of the most important things we can do with the platform we have been blessed with is to impact others in a positive way. We must lead by example and urge others to join us. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn” Benjamin Franklin
We must engage our audience in ways in which we urge them to think outside of the box and stretch beyond their comfort zones. We must include each other in our messaging, by sharing and supporting our collective efforts. We must collaborate with one another because change is greater when we create it TOGETHER. I have used my platform in this way. I encourage others to create similar projects in THEIR communities and to start their own social media pages spreading their message while remaining connected to my page so that we expand from community to community and country to country but remain tied together by one intention of making the world a kinder place.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
To give one example would be impossible. So many people from around the world have reached out to me to share their personal stories about how a simple act of kindness, words painted on a rock impacted their life. From Suicidal people finding a rock at the moment they were about to take their own life, to cancer patients who found courage to continue their battle after finding a rock outside of their hospital, to parents who lost their child and found a way to continue their memory and create a legacy by creating memorial rocks… each story is touching and profound. The impact of this project can be summed up on one statement “One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook or life”
Was there a tipping point the made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?
I decided to give 100% of my attention to facilitating this project when people started reaching out to me and sharing their personal stories. The reason I started painting rocks, my why- was to support another struggling soul who needed uplifting. When the stories began flooding in, I quickly realized that I had a great responsibility in responding to each person by letting them know that they mattered and that someone cared. To this day, I personally respond to the hundreds of emails and messages I receive because THAT is how we impact each other. We listen, we take the time, and we let someone know that we care.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Community means belonging. Community means we share things in common. As a community we must realize that we are more alike than we are different regardless of our political beliefs, our economic status, religion or race. We must realize that as human beings we must care for the well-being of others and support one another because community means caring. We must never stop caring for one another and bridge that which divides us with compassion and empathy.
What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?
Always stay connected to your purpose or intention-your why. When things seem out of balance and you find yourself compromising yourself for the intention of gaining more likes rather than staying true to your beliefs and personal values, readjust your vision and go back to your why. Be honest, be authentic and at the end of the day ask yourself, “Am I proud of the impact that I am making on others?”
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- Innovation takes courage: anytime we put ourselves out there and create something new, people will tell you that us that we are crazy and that it if were possible, someone would have already created it. Listening to outside criticism kills creativity…. I know this as often people told me I was crazy. I am grateful I didn’t listen to them.
- Vulnerability is a superpower: I realized that when I shared my own vulnerable moments it created a greater connection and bond with my audience.
- You won’t please everyone, but isn’t that the point? As a people pleaser, this was a hard realization. Some people will not “get it” but that is okay, one day they might recall the way you made them feel and we may never know the impact we had on that person.
- With great influence comes an even greater responsibility: Each of us has a responsibility to treat one another with kindness and respect. With a very large following, this takes a lot of time and energy, so one has to remain committed.
- With success comes a lot of difficulty in dealing with people who wish to benefit financially from all of your hard work. Personally, I am inundated with requests from companies to share ads for their products and services. They throw proposals my way for thousands of dollars for one simple post, however, I have remained steadfast in not taking money for things that I do not care about or that do not serve the project or my followers. My authentic voice depends on my ability to remain purposeful about the intentions of my project.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I am living that dream with The Kindness Rocks Project and am beyond blessed.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I just finished reading Alicia Keys book and she is a beautiful soul that I would love to meet one day. I love her energy and her passion for inspiring others and making a positive impact in the world.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!