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Mysterious inspirational chalk messages pop up around Chicago

April 12, 2012|By Leonor Vivanco | RedEye

"Stop, take a breath and smile."

"What you do matters. Live with purpose."

"This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

"Yesterday does not define your today."

"Love is stronger than fear."

Who's behind some of these inspirational and hopeful messages found written in chalk on Chicago sidewalks?

The local Chalk the Block movement has been popping up on sidewalks including Thorndale and Bryn Mawr avenues leading to 'L' stops for the past couple months thanks to the Community Christian Church in Edgewater.

"We're a community of people who want to actually live out what we're chalking ... to live lives of beauty, amazement and significance. To not waste a single moment of life. To live in the reality that every day is a gift!" campus pastor Rich and Dori Gorman posted in March on the neighborhood-centric site EveryBlock.

On Twitter @chalktheblockch, the group said last month the goal is to be "positive and encouraging, but we can also be kind of nerdy."

"At #chalktheblock we encourage you to keep your head up everyday, but feel free to look down a little to see our work," the group tweeted.

Using the Twitter hashtag #chalktheblock, the movement has sparked people to share Instagram photos of the positive messages they stumbled upon while walking through their neighborhoods.

So far, Chicagoans seem to be tweeting their support.

For example, resident Katie Riley tweeted Wednesday "#chalktheblock made me smile today. loving all the positive messages around the streets."

lvivanco@tribune.com | @lvivanco

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