If Carol Areas has learned one thing from her son, it’s this: “No matter who you are, you can always deliver something positive to the world.”
Ten years ago, her son Antonio had a genius idea: to spread love. Since being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome just two years ago, he “learned a lot about prejudice, bullying, and challenges,” Carol remembers. But even though he would retreat into himself and his safe space, he continued to devote his free time to making a positive impact on the world.
After finding inspiration in the word of encouragement Carol has around their home, Antonio suggested: “Let’s paint a lot more rocks, mom, then we will leave them around the city and make a lot of people happy.” And so the Word Rocks Project was born.
When Antonio is feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or just upset, he escapes to his favorite place: his bedroom. Carol tells us, “It’s in this quiet and happy place that he helps me painting the rocks backgrounds and come up with good quotes.”
Sadly, because he’s always been special, Antonio faced bullying at school. When this happened, Carol said, “he withdrew and preferred to be by himself than with other people.” Now, his Word Rocks are “his way to keep contact with the world.”
And boy does he do that.
After initially leaving the rocks just around their hometown of San Diego, California, the mother-son duo learned that their rocks were going global. Paris, London, Rio, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Toronto — the list went on!
And before they knew it, others were joining their movement, spreading love and kindness with their own rocks.
Antonio and Carol’s rocks have touched so many lives — and they don’t have any plans to slow down.
They have a website and readers can submit photos of places they’ve found rocks. There are even helpful tips on how to craft your own inspirational rocks.
Ultimately, Antonio’s message to the world is simple: “No matter who you are or the differences that you have, you can always make this world a better place to all of us.”
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