Sometimes I need reminded of the ripple effect of Acts of Kindness. Small acts of kindness can have great meaning.
Last night I wasn't much in the spirit of rock painting at Christmas past. With Rock on Oil City, we go to many local events encouraging young and old to paint rocks and sprinkle them around the city to bring a smile to the finder. After you do something for a while it's easy to become numb to the reason it all started and the meaning it may have to the people participating.
I must admit that I tried to escape rock painting at Christmas Past. It's crowded. Lots of kids excited to see Santa....
Out of the blur of faces and mingling paint, real people with heart felt stories reminded me that the simple opportunity to paint a rock at Christmas Past has greater meaning. And we may not know how meaningful it is.
A young mother with two little girls came to paint rocks. They were there last year and their Daddy painted rocks with them. Through tears the young mom said their daddy died unexpectedly just a few weeks ago. Through her pain, she brought the girls to Christmas Past to continue a family tradition. And part of that meant painting rocks like they did with Daddy last year.
Several families expressed that they were looking forward to rock painting again. One dad said they put their painted rocks on the mantel where they stay all year. Hopefully, last year's rocks will now be planted out in the community for someone to find and smile.
A new friend helped this year and in the course of the evening expressed how sharing these experiences with us has changed her outlook on life. It's turned what could have been a bleak Christmas into one filled with renewed joy.
If I had been successful in escaping rock painting at Christmas Past, I would not know how many people would have been disappointed. How important is painting a rock?
Of course it is not about the rock painting at all. It's about spreading kindness and creating memories.
Simple kindness has a ripple effect that lifts people up. No act of kindness is small and inconsequential. We may not learn about how it is rippling out but it is.
I'm thankful to be reminded.