Stories, Success & Stuff

Episode 24: Kindness Chronicles

November 29, 2023 A Siarza Production Season 1 Episode 24
Stories, Success & Stuff
Episode 24: Kindness Chronicles
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join Kristelle and Jace as they traverse personal stories of gratitude and kindness, sharing how these heartfelt experiences have played a crucial role in their success. 

We don't stop at personal stories, though. We also examine the power kindness holds in leadership and its significance in our societal fabric. As we welcome the holiday season, we remind ourselves and our listeners about the profound impact of kindness and gratitude. So, pull up a chair, lend us your ears, and let's start this journey of kindness together.

A Siarza Production
Hosted by Kristelle Siarza Moon & Jace Downey
Executive Producer: Kristelle Siarza Moon
Producer: Jace Downey
Video/Editing: Justin Otsuka

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Follow Kristelle @kristellesiarza
www.misskristelle.com
Follow Jace @jacedowneyofficial
www.jacedowney.com

Jace:

Kindness can be just. It can be the smile, it can be listening, it can be expressing something in a gentler way. You know, it can be a lot of different things. It can just be like, hey, how are you doing? Like, are you doing okay? And like actually listening for the answer or giving a hug.

Kristelle:

Okay, we have to begin now, don't you ever feel really excited whenever you clap that thing? I?

Jace:

always feel really excited when I clap that thing.

Kristelle:

Hey it's the day after Thanksgiving weekend. Yep, the four day weekend. Yes, welcome back. Excited to have you back, excited to have you all back on Stories, success and Stuff. I'm gonna jump right into it, because not only are we. Let me start with this, the topic is kindness. But before we talk about kindness, let me ask you what were you thinking? I know that you were very thankful for the company, but, personally, what were you thankful for for Thanksgiving?

Jace:

I am thankful for having a strong group of people in my life. So my family didn't get together this Thanksgiving, which was sad. I'm pretty traditional when it comes to the holidays, so we didn't get together. So I said but I have really beautiful, wonderful friends here in town so I got to spend time with them and they're kind of my chosen family. Yeah, yeah, so that was really nice. Yeah, and my big sister, my oldest sister, did come and joined for one of them and that was really fun and we have a lot of fun together. Yeah, and so that and that was a relationship that was pretty tumultuous for big parts of our life.

Jace:

Yeah, and the fact that you two can come together now, yeah, and that we actually really like time together, so I was really grateful for that, and this is I know we're like let's do an upbeat episode, but unless there are some wild magical things in the mix, these will be Charlie's last holidays, so I was super thankful that he is here and that the pups are happy and healthy. Well, we had a pretty tough health weekend for Charlie, but he's here and he's happy, and so just recognizing like next Thanksgiving will feel very different. It'll be the first one in my adult life without him, and so staying in the present Is important With that now.

Kristelle:

And that's the next episode for sure. And I mean it plays into. Kindness is our topic for today, but gratitude is obviously something that brings us joy, so I'm sure that you were grateful to spend those moments with him.

Jace:

Absolutely, which is huge. What about you?

Kristelle:

Chosen. Family is very important to me as well, but this is my first Thanksgiving as a married couple. It was really nerve-wracking at first, because it was the first time our families, like, actually were in the same household together.

Kristelle:

And the whole time I was like it's hot in here, somebody turn up the damn AC. I am like is this what menopause feels like? That was me whole Thanksgiving, oh wow. But I cooked my ass off because I love the traditional sides. Well, I love food, and there's so many things about preparing for a party that just remind me of my mom and my dad.

Jace:

And I miss them.

Kristelle:

They're in the Philippines. Like, thank God I still have them. But it definitely became a moment of well, I wish they were here, but I'm gonna definitely crush it. I fucking crushed Thanksgiving. Nice. I started cooking Tuesday night, cooked all day Wednesday and then finished off everything on Thursday and, like, got to take my time With the fact that it's time to now invest into shaping dishes. Everything was great, mine sans the shaping dish little debacle that we had.

Jace:

Shaving dishes.

Kristelle:

Yeah, yeah, Not like when runners run and it hurts, like not that type of shaping, but like buffet servers, like with the burners the butane burners they're called chafing.

Jace:

Yeah, that does not sound appetizing at all.

Kristelle:

Buffet dishes. Yeah, okay, okay, on the next episode of Stories to Session.

Jace:

I'm hearing like chafing and like no, I don't know it's not producing good things in my head. It's okay. It's like serving Buffet.

Kristelle:

Serving dishes yeah, buffet tables, yeah yeah, so, like my parents run a restaurant called Castellina Angeles in San Fernando, which is in the Philippines, and I'm always appreciative of the time, of the amount of kindness that they show in their homes in Cebu and then also here when they're back home in Albuquerque, so it's always really nice whenever we have a get-together just to cook and actually like nail a recipe and everything's like really good, everything's really delicious, like I actually enjoy. I don't usually like my leftovers when I cook. I don't usually eat.

Jace:

I would die without leftovers.

Kristelle:

I am my life. I am still enjoying leftovers after day four and I'm pretty proud of myself.

Jace:

Anyways, Well before we leave, food and gratitude and kindness, a friend asked me like what was your bed, what was your favorite thing? I'm like oh no, this was hands down the best tasting Thanksgiving that I have attended. And I cooked and baked as well. But my really good friend, my closest girlfriend in town, she converted her whole menu to gluten free.

Kristelle:

Oh, wow.

Jace:

For me.

Kristelle:

Yeah, oh, I should have known.

Jace:

I'm like what's my stuffing recipe? She, oh my gosh, her stuffing. I literally like I was speechless. It was so good. So she did gluten free mac and cheese stuffing. She did a mushroom gravy for me, oh wow. And like, she did a gluten free walnut pie. I did a pumpkin pie, I did a pot pie, but like, so I got to eat everything this year. Oh, that's really sweet. Yeah, yeah, and like. And she did her regular stuff too. So she ultra cooked, but she really went out of her way to make sure that I could have everything for Thanksgiving, which, to me, like food is.

Jace:

food and time are my love languages. And so someone taking time to make me food and to go out of, like that to me, I was like in tears afterwards, like in the mix of it was like busy and whatever. But that level of kindness when someone will do something for you, yes, like so caring for me, that just was so touch. And then I'm still eating it and like I was telling her, like you're mac and cheese at three o'clock in the morning, I was like that's the best, like it's everything.

Kristelle:

Well, it's a really great segue into the topic of kindness.

Jace:

Right.

Kristelle:

Like what's the best way you know? There are studies have shown that kindness actually helps with mental health right.

Kristelle:

Taking that high road, but you bring up things. It was really funny, actually. My son said this today he goes. I learned that a way to a woman's heart my son's 15, a way to a woman's heart is through food. And I was like yes, yes, you nailed it Right and it's, and he's. He can be kind when he's not being a teenage boy, a teenage boy. So what, in your opinion, is the best way for somebody to show kindness? Is it what we see in current events, or is it an adaptation per person? Is it like especially curated for that individual?

Jace:

I think it's especially curated per individual and different circumstances as well. Like my friend, spending hours making things for me, that's incredible Kindness. It was so touching. But I also think about a time not too long ago where I was stressed out and I was frustrated and I was just kind of in a really tough morning and I'm walking the pups and there's this lady across the street who's looking over and we kind of make eye contact and like oh hey, like the quick good morning, but she keeps looking at me.

Kristelle:

Is this the same lady that called out your Abba concert?

Jace:

No.

Kristelle:

No, no, no, no no.

Jace:

No, this is just a stranger. I don't know who this is, but she smiled at me and I smiled back. But then she just held my gaze and, like, really smiled at me, made sure I received that. I don't know why. I don't know if she could tell I needed it or if it was just the universe working through her. But that was a simple, momentary act of smiling at me and it completely transformed my day.

Jace:

It just reminded me like, oh yeah, be in the present, like be in that connection. I'm cared about, I'm not alone. There was a lot packed in there and it was just a tiny little smile from a stranger, that's so.

Kristelle:

That's so warming to me and I think of these every time. I think of a kindness and it's how my brain is wired now, especially after working with them for so long. But we have this really great nonprofit that we work with, the Jennifer Reardon Foundation In honor of Jennifer Reardon, an amazing community individual that her legacy lives on through kind, loving, caring and sharing her motto. I want to be her at some point in time, right. But what was really great is that moments like that get beautifully captured through the kindness app, and so I and when I think.

Kristelle:

What I love about the team working on that project is it takes them. You take a moment where you like, sit and you are present in the kindness that. Not many people feel that feeling because their day just goes on or life just happens or their schedules goes on, but the fact that we get the kindness that makes you sit and reflect about what did you do, that's kind enough today. That helps you through grief, helps you through pain, helps you through the bad times, the good times, whatever you might be going through, kindness really is healing.

Jace:

Yeah.

Kristelle:

And in a particular moment in my life is that my son was eight, eight around, seven or eight. He had just moved back and I was really tired. It was 2017, I remember like it was yesterday. It was the week that my mom started to go through her major health challenges. She's a pancreatic cancer survivor and it was just when we started to discover everything kind of going down.

Kristelle:

December and January was when it started to happen, and I was at the Sadies, just right around the corner, and Jonathan and I just sat in the back in a big, wide room and there was only four people there. Oh, there was only three people there. It was my son and I and this random lady she gave and you talking about like that smile, that genuine smile. She looked at me and I had a moment of wow. She was really nice, but I thought why is she so friendly? She didn't say anything to me. Well, she walked off and she's like having a day and I was like okay, bye. And you know, jonathan was just like I want soapy peas, I want this, and I'm like I'm fucking tired.

Jace:

I don't wanna cook.

Kristelle:

My mom is like not well right now. My Spencer and Anaheim were just dating and I was like he's here but like he doesn't understand what's going on, and now they're getting mad at him for being my boyfriend, us moving in together.

Jace:

That's what it was.

Kristelle:

And all of a sudden, I get this napkin. I still have the napkin to this day and it said I appreciate it when mom and sons are together. I still like cry about it too. I appreciate it. She said something along the lines I appreciate it when mom and sons get to have quality time together and dinner Hope you have a good dinner together. And she paid for my bill. I died like.

Kristelle:

I cried, I was like she had no idea what it was going through and how difficult it was, and then I said to myself it was 2017. I said to myself I'm gonna do the exact same thing that she did for me. It has to be like the perfect situation. It has to be a mom that looks really tired and a kid. And it happened a couple months ago.

Kristelle:

I felt like the act of kindness that I want, like and everybody does acts of kindness in various different ways but it's really, it's really fulfilling when you do it, when, like it's that serendipitous movie moment, like we have Justin in the room and so he understands like that, that that movie scene, that cinematic scene, and the cinematic scene for me was sitting at noodle house just right down the street and Jonathan and I really love their Shaolong Bao, which is their scene dumplings. So we're sitting seeing dumplings and I see this mom walk in and she's like visibly tired. She's in her scrub still and she has this two year old. That's Iron man. Iron man walked in and they sat together. He got the biggest meal and she had the smallest cup of soup and I was like I know exactly what she's doing and so I said to Jonathan it was like hey, bud, do you remember that one time? And he goes is it time to pay it forward? Sure enough, like kindness comes in the most craziest ways.

Jace:

Yeah.

Kristelle:

The craziest, the craziest stories. And like I don't like to gloat kindness, I don't, I don't, I don't like to brag about kindness, I don't like to brag about the fact that our team does what we do in the kind moments that we have, but, at the end of the day, like it helps us be human, kindness helps us be human in the most craziest times of our lives. I think Absolutely so. What do you?

Jace:

think about. I know a lot of people get upset when kindness is publicized, like oh, you shouldn't, you shouldn't tell anybody or you shouldn't document it because, then it's selfish or it takes away from it, or you're not doing it to be kind, you're doing it for yourself. But there's a lot of ideas and people get really annoyed when others show their kindness. But there is a guy on I see him on Instagram. I don't know who it is. Mr Beast? No, oh, okay, I don't think so. Okay.

Jace:

Tell me, tell me, what is he, he goes and like, goes to little, he's not in America, or sometimes he is.

Kristelle:

Yeah, I don't know, it's not Mr Beast.

Jace:

Okay, um, but he'll go to like a taco stand and be like how much for all of your tacos. And he'll just buy out the entire truck and then put out signs for like free tacos and just buy lunch for everybody, that's right. Or he went to um, where like day workers are and was like hey, I need four or three or whatever, like who's available, and then just took them to Disneyland. Oh, that guy, that guy.

Kristelle:

Yeah, that guy was so rad, yeah, and like.

Jace:

so he gets flack for taping all of that. But I love seeing it and to see the result of that kindness and to just transform somebody's day with this simple act, right when you know. For some people buying out a taco truck wouldn't be simple, but if you have the resources it's not that hard to do, right? And so I like seeing that stuff. It inspires me, like how can I show up in my day, even if it's just a smile or even it's just listening? Listening is one of the greatest acts of kindness. Yeah, I've discovered. Yeah, so what do you think about people? And it's not bragging. To show something doesn't mean bragging. It's not like oh, let me, let me tell you what I. You know there's a difference, but what do you think?

Kristelle:

Yeah, it's when you put that fake on face. It was when you put that fake face on and you're just like. Well, I did this because I felt like it was in the goodness of the community and have that mochismo look Like.

Kristelle:

That's when I say who is it serving? Yeah, like. I believe in the phrase servant leadership for a reason, and servant leadership does encompass um, it does encompass empathy, it encompass kindness, it encompasses discipline, um, and so those are three things that I think servant leadership really have. Hmm, what he did today he's telling his story. I'm all for that. I'm not for when you're telling the story to serve your ego when you talked about ego in a previous episode and it's self-serving. Like, if it genuinely brings you joy, don't shit on him. Like don't shit on somebody else's joy because you're not happy, until you become the person that actually is the recipient of that free fucking taco, they'll be like this guy's fucking awesome Right.

Jace:

Who doesn't like free tacos? They're like fucking free tacos, right.

Kristelle:

But my point is I get grumpy when people shit on other people's kindness and make them feel belittled. Let him do what he does, as long as he has it in the right intentions. I personally like to talk about when we volunteer and we do kindness activities, when the only time I like to do this is not as a way to promote the company. I don't think that's genuine. I think it's more of a look at what we do as a team. Yeah, it's a team building.

Jace:

We love it yeah.

Kristelle:

And we really like to get out of the office right, and we like to keep things fun around here. What's more fun than wrapping Christmas presents or setting up food?

Jace:

at a food bank. I was like I like when we cooked for Ronald McDonald house charities. That was really fun. We all made a big meal together. That was one of my favorite things that we did. And then to like, sit and share, Like again, food right. Yeah, food Time kindness Like those are my. I love doing that together as a team. That was really special for me.

Kristelle:

Yeah, like, at the end of the day, we never. I think the part that's always really nice but I never expect it, is when we get letters of thanks from the residents or we don't get them at all. I'm OK with that, I'm pretty happy with that. I think what becomes very heartwarming is the fact that we see kindness as a way of just portraying emotion or giving out emotion, and I think that I'm still of the vein that it's harder to be positive than it it's easy to be negative. I think staying positive includes taking the high road and being kind. I know I sound really angry about kindness, but like I just have, there's a lot of people that ruin kindness and it's like, don't do that.

Jace:

Right, and I think when we're showing it, when people will display it and others get mad. I'm like, but there's so many negative things that get displayed on the news, on social, on whatever, and it's like, why not balance that with also seeing that there's a whole lot of wonderful people and acts, way more than there are negative, but we don't see them and then you get in trouble for showing them and I'm like I'd like to see them. Bring on more displays of human connection Because, like you said, we are actually wired for kindness and connection. We have all kinds of rewards that are built in when kindness is in the mix or when we are being in service or volunteering or whatever, and it's like well, if it feels good to you, then it's not. That it's like doesn't count and it's like but we're designed, we literally get rewarded with feel good chemicals when we do kind things. Yeah, so why can't like? It's supposed to be mutual. Humans are designed for things to be mutually beneficial.

Jace:

And kindness is one of them.

Kristelle:

Well, I always like, when you talk about the human element and I talk about leadership, like I think that there's that stigma of leadership that's out there that you have to be big, badass, boss, bitch, cool, yeah. But the best bosses that people remember are the ones that were incredibly kind, and bosses get taken advantage of like their kindness is genuine. I've been that person where somebody took advantage of my kindness. It's very defeating, but that can't, I would say if any of you all are listening, that are actual bosses right now, or in charge of a company, a small business owner, and it gets very hard whenever you're looking for continuing on your kindness but you can't afford it, or somebody abused it or somebody just kind of spit it back in your face, like it happens to us small business owners. It happens to us in leadership Just keep going like, be kind, because at the end of the day, no matter how much money you have, people are gonna remember you for the kind act that you did for them. That's very true.

Jace:

And on all of this I was reminded in a really big way last week somewhere that I go often. Somebody who also is there often, had gone, seemed totally normal, was out just having what appeared to be a regular night this is not someone I'm close to and went home and killed himself. Oh no, yeah, and there was no like clear sign of that happening and it really hit me. Not because I have a personal connection. I didn't particularly like the person I know. After someone's gone we're supposed to like, oh, he's a saint. No, we didn't vibe, but this idea and I was sitting there in the same place that he had last been beforehand and I'm looking out at all of these people and I'm going. We have no idea what any one of these people who are going through at all, and we might and.

Jace:

I've been that person where I have a smile on and I seem like everything's okay and no one had any idea. Even when I was planning my suicide, not a single person had any idea of what was actually going on inside and it was that reminder to me to be kind. There's that saying right, like we don't know what people are going through. Be kind always. And it was just that like holy shit, this person was here amongst hundreds of people and then went home and it was just having a completely different experience inside than we saw outside and I just thought, fuck, just be kind Like.

Jace:

That doesn't mean I have to allow people to walk all over me. It doesn't mean that I don't get to have boundaries. People think that like, oh, we'll have to protect my kindness can be just, it can be the smile, it can be listening, it can be expressing something in a gentler way. You know it can be a lot of different things. It can just be like hey, how are you doing? Like, are you doing okay? And like actually listening for the answer or giving a hug. You know it doesn't have to be these big acts, but it was such a huge reminder to me that I do not know what people are going through inside.

Kristelle:

Yeah, and especially the holidays too. I think, with all of the hoopla that's going on, it's important to stick paid attention because you never know, like you said, what somebody is actually what inner demon might be tackling somebody on. And I think it is important to kind of end on this good note that, like, at the end of the day, life is very short and the last thing that you want to be remembered for is just how kind you are or the act of kindness that you might have did for somebody, because that's gonna make moves. That's gonna make motions, you know. So it really does. Yeah, I appreciate you talking about kindness and that human element and having us an opportunity to, like, sit and enjoy it. I'm also looking forward to our next topic. Our next topic is Contentment while striving forward.

Kristelle:

Yes you said it better. Yes, I was like.

Jace:

I was like how does it phrase that? Yeah, this notion.

Kristelle:

Gratitude, no ego, no contentment got it.

Jace:

Yeah, how do we look towards the future and work towards something while also being in acceptance of the present? In acceptance of the present, for sure yeah harmonizing those two not an easy task.

Kristelle:

Exciting episode for sure. So thanks for joining us. We really appreciate you listening to us on stories, success and stuff. Hey, don't forget to subscribe on Spotify, on Apple iTunes and any type of your favorite podcast channel and, most importantly, don't forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel. At CRs of the agency. I'm Crystal. This is Jace. Thanks for listening to Stories, success and Stuff. Thank you.

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