A few months back I heard about this awesome idea, rocking! Basically, for those who haven’t heard of the craze yet, you paint rocks and leave them for others to find. The idea would be for you to make some one else smile. You leave a little piece of happiness to brighten another persons day.
I LOVE THIS IDEA!
I was so excited the first time I went out with my kids and we found some. I explained that they couldn’t keep all of them since we didn’t have any to leave. So they could each keep one and the rest we hid again during the walk.
The girls had a blast.
I had a blast.
I went and bought rocks to paint. We spend hours upon hours painting our rocks. Maybe they weren’t the prettiest. Maybe they weren’t anything to brag about but I knew that this made my kids happy and when someone else happened to come upon a painted rock randomly it would make them happy too. It didn’t matter if my daughter’s heart looked more like a blob, or if M’s were just singular colors that I later added sparkles to. My kids loved them and to them they were perfect.
We went on many walks just hiding our rocks all over the county. We didn’t post where or when we hid them. We didn’t put pictures on the Facebook page every time we painted rocks, or every time we found them for that matter. The idea was spreading happiness and that was happening.
Then came the day that my rocks were found. Kids were excited no matter how badly chipped the paint had become, my first few attempts weren’t great. Still they were there and someone claimed them and that was cool.
I didn’t do it to see my rocks on Facebook. I did it with the intention of never seeing my rocks again, because they were happiness that I was spreading and to me that was the whole point.
The first few rocks that were found people grumbled because I didn’t label the back with the name of the Facebook group.
How dare I leave a rock with no name on it for credit?!
How could anyone possibly just enjoy a rock without jumping on social media to pat someone else on the back?!
I explained then that I will not label my rocks. I was not “rocking” to grow a Facebook group, I was not painting my rocks so that I could even be part of the group. If someone found a rock of mine and wanted to label it themselves they could, because you know what? The minute I placed a rock to be found by someone else I stopped owning it! I didn’t do it for anything other than to spread a little joy in the world.
I stopped following the page because more and more people would go and complain that their kids didn’t find any on a particular day. Or worse they labeled anyone who didn’t follow their “rules” a TROLL.
If you were to go on the page and ask they would nicely tell you, there are no rules. They ask that you label them to help other people understand the movement and I get that but other than that there aren’t any rules to follow.
There is no standard for how these rocks need to be painted. Just because one isn’t up to some imagined standard another has doesn’t devalue it. You don’t like the random blob my kid painted on a rock, just leave it there for someone else. Don’t go on Facebook with a to-do list for others telling them when their kids rocks aren’t “pretty” enough they should add something to it so it will be nicer for someone else.
If my kid paints a rock and they finish and think its beautiful there is no way I would change a thing on it! I will proudly place my rocks and if people don’t like them they don’t have to take them, or they can take them and repaint them to their standards, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that a person can look at the work of another and decide its not good enough to make another person happy. I’m not an artist but I am a person who loves others and I know that what I do and what my kids do will always be good enough! I think everyone needs to realize that about themselves too!
Just because you find a rock it doesn’t obligate you to leave one, or put that one back, or even mention it on social media. You can walk and collect every single rock you find and not leave one and you know what? That doesn’t make you a troll! That doesn’t make you a bad person because your kid is stoked to find rocks and wants to hang on to them all. Maybe you don’t proclaim your every breath on social media and that’s okay!
You can’t get mad when you leave something for someone else to find and you don’t hear what happens to it. You can’t control everything. When you place a rock with the expectation of hearing about it on Facebook. With the idea in your head that you want someone to post it so you can shout to the whole world what a great person you are then you have lost the whole meaning of this movement.
From the beginning it was about spreading joy and happiness with nothing in return.
So I am leaving the group. I am done with the games and judgement and the idea that someone can call a kid who might have nothing more to find joy in than a rock hunt, a troll. I will not be a part of the rock shaming or the condescending over ROCKS. Do you understand what I’m saying?! THEY’RE ROCKS! A grown adult can get their panties in a wad over a rock my 3 year old didn’t paint pretty enough?!
Now there are some good people in the group. Not everyone is complaining and judging but there has been enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth.
I will keep painting rocks, my kids love it. And you want to find a troll look no further. I will let my kids pick up each and every rock they see if they want to and there is nothing you can do about it, except stop. Either stop leaving them if it bothers you that much, or stop caring. Sure we rehome 99% of the rocks that we find, goodness knows I don’t need rocks in my house, but how do you know the ones that you’ve called trolls before aren’t doing the exact same thing?
Yes, I will paint my rocks, I will hide them, I will let my kids look until they’re contentment but I will not be a part of any group that can turn a beautiful thing into a control issue.
Leave a rock with no expectation except to make another person smile. In the end, that’s all that matters anyway!