The Kindness Quotient
by Sarah Mackay
Robert Fuentes intimately understands the power of laughter. His attributes this to his mother who passed away years ago of breast cancer, she kept humor close to her heart. She frequently would tell her family, “I never remember the bad stuff; I remember the good stuff.” She left this legacy of seeing the brighter side to her three sons, one of which is Robert.
Laughter is often an amicable anecdote in creating fond memories during difficult times.
“While undergoing chemotherapy, she shaved the stubbles of hair left after radiation and wore a wig. Sometimes she would pretend to be drunk and wear her wig sideways as a gift of laughter for friends and loved ones.” he said.
Robert Fuentes is also interested in making you smile. He knows firsthand the role of a good laugh and the benefits it provides. He keeps humor in the mix, “I take life seriously, but I don’t let it make me serious,” he said.
In life, he’s a Safety Director, a mechanic, an improvisational actor, an over-the-moon-happy husband (think nauseating in love to an incredible wife) and a loving father of two children. He’s courageous, case-in-point; he’s willing to walk on stage despite his fear of performing. He’s that kind of guy.
The attraction to improvisational acting is strong for Robert; the efficiency of words and the challenge to make others smile is what motivates him to return to the stage, again and again.
Here’s a quick story to give a sense of how he rolls as a fellow human. You need help, you’re lost or something is broken, Robert will ask how he can help you, give you as much support as he can, will make you laugh while he fixes what he can, offer advise (when asked) and then top it all off with a good laugh. He’s a mix of philosophical with a can-do-spirit while keeping it funny and real.
And he’s been this way ever since he was a young boy. Growing-up he learned to cook at the age of seven to help his parents, “I could see when they came home from work they were too tired to cook, so I learned to cook and could see how happy and grateful they were, so a chef was born,” he said. Today, he makes breakfast every weekend for his family. His desire to help continues in his conversations with everyone he meets.
He listens with his whole heart, he wants to know your story (beginning, middle and end) and by doing so discovers nuggets and an enjoyable conversation emerges (he might crack a joke or two for kicks).
Community for Robert in a nutshell, “there’s a neighbor to the left and to the right and not just that one neighbor, but miles and miles of them and I mean that in a good way,” he said.
For Robert, laughter is just around the corner, in the community and with a neighbor if you’re willing to meet it half way.