I have probably told some of you about the Kindness Rocks, if not, you may have seen articles over Facebook and the Internet. There is a video of the founder, Megan Murphy, starting the Kindness Rocks Project. A good, short film, however, I only watch videos on Friday afternoons. Why? No matter how low I set the volume, one or more of my sons will suddenly ask what I am watching from across the house, the yard, possibly the state of California. Of course, this usually happens when they are supposed to be completing their homework. Therefore, I will summarize the concept.
The idea is to spread kindness and compassion through messages on small, handheld, rocks and leave them for friends and strangers to find. Sometimes the right word and the right time can help someone. Right away I liked the idea, but what really grabbed me was who picks up the rocks.
Young parents and their toddlers.
Now, I don’t know about you, but my most trying days as a parent, where following the one- to three-year olds on walks around the neighborhood as they investigated every blade of grass, pebble, and flower, as well as, cigarette butt, piece of garbage, and glass shard. They would inspect, touch, and try to pick up anything that caught their eye. I loved my little cherubic boys and was entertained by their discoveries but these strolls could be exceedingly long and boring. Hence, the thought of placing a painted stone here and there, especially around the apartment complexes, appeals to me.
So, on my evening dog stroll last night (easier than toddlers, but same challenges) I placed my first batch of rocks. My first mistake was forgetting to take pictures of the rocks BEFORE I headed out, so I apologize for the lighting, blurring, and general crappiness of the images.
I am already painting more rocks, so I wanted to share some tips.
- Pick smooth rocks. The cracks and bumps make it hard to write anything. These came from Lowes gardening department and easily fit in my hand.
- Paint the rock first with a base color. I used acrylic paint, student to professional grade. I did not dilute with water.
- Keep the base color bright. I began with black, dark green, and dark blue base paint and regretted it. The lettering is hard to read.
- Use permanent markers, but NOT with fine tip. A softer, wider pen flows more smoothly across the surface. The fine tip marker just scratched and disappeared.
- Keep the message positive. My teenage sons’ suggestions were quickly rejected. Funny, but not appropriate.
I encourage others to try this. You do not need to be accomplished artists to spread some beauty and kindness. In fact, you could just stick with words. Some rocks posted onto the Kindness Rocks facebook page quoted music or popular books. If it inspires you, it might touch another. Either way, I am looking forward to leaving these little nuggets around Dublin. I hope I find a few, too!