It’s easy to assume the worst of humanity and the future if the only lenses we’re looking through are social media and the news. But Leon Logothetis believed so much in the basic goodness of people that he gave up the life of a broker in London and headed out on a motorcycle, committing to traveling the world by relying only on the kindness of strangers. And now, with The Kindness Diaries, we can all connect with the wonder and generosity he discovered along the way!
Leon’s stories about his adventures and the wonder of human connection are just exactly the right medicine if you are sick of all the acrimony and divisiveness on the web and social media.
Let’s take a deep dive into just how much kindness can be found in the world!
Have you heard about The Kindness Diaries and the trail of goodness that Leon Logothetis is leaving in his wake? He’s initiated a remarkable series of efforts — the Kindness Cab project, books, television shows, and now a Netflix series — all involving the goal of inspiring people to be kind and truly “see” each other.
It’s a wonderful story of an ordinary person leaving the rat race behind to find purpose in championing kindness.
With the conscious choice Leon makes every day to truly “see people” and help them feel less alone, he has become our era’s best thought leader for getting back to what connects us all.
Here’s a trailer with a little taste of the wonder of The Kindness Diaries to get us started:
Kindness is not the fluffy, soft stuff of life. It’s often the most courageous way to live.
I first learned about this remarkable thought leader when my brother, a captain for Southwest Airlines, called me specifically to say, “Lynda, I don’t care what you are doing today, you must check this guy out and tell people about him!”
Now if the name of Leon’s project sounds a bit “fluffy” to you, I must tell you that my brother is an intense, Type-A, former F15 fighter pilot, who does not mess around with rainbows and unicorns or new-age sentiments. He is a straight-shooter (literally, he’s also a U.S. Air Marshal). What my brother recognized immediately was the gravity and profound importance of Leon’s work, especially considering the negative dialogue about our times.
And how did my brother become such a supporter of The Kindness Diaries? Well, his employer, Southwest Airlines, has always championed a corporate culture that seems the perfect fit for an adventurer and eternal optimist like Leon Logothetis who is on a mission to spread kindness. Now Southwest has included The Kindness Diaries as a part of their inflight programming and it seems like a wonderful example of “Corporate Social Responsibility” gone very right: their corporate monicker has always been Spread The LUV and a unique partnership with hit Netflix documentary series seems like a win for everyone.
Since my brother was hired by Southwest Airlines in 1995 I have been impressed with the fact that the airline infuses their workforce to embrace the “Airlines with a heart” mindset. My brother has always appreciated the fact that he may be playing a role in some of the most important moments in Southwest’s customers’ lives.
I suspect that’s a mindset that many of us could consider as we go about our daily lives, and it’s at the heart of the Ever Widening Circles vision too.
Here’s a turn of a phrase that summarizes what I suspect my brother recognized in The Kindness Diaries:
Want to truly feel a part of the human race? Start “seeing” others!
You know the feeling: that moment when someone validates your uniqueness, your importance to them, or when you see another person with your heart rather than your head.
Here’s the story of that beginning:
What would the world look like if we all chose to give out attention to kindness instead of the chaos in the negative dialogue about our times? I suspect it might look a little like Leon’s world.
Leon was once one of the “unseen”.
Like many, he found himself at age 27, stuck behind a desk, on the business treadmill, chronically depressed and uninspired, until he realized something had to change dramatically. He told an interviewer from Travelers Rest Here that on the outside he would have appeared to have everything a person could want, but on the inside, he had nothing you’d wish for. He had come through a childhood of trauma from being bullied and feeling unseen, and he had carried the pain from all that forward with him.
Eventually, he was pushed by the pain to do something different and then fate intervened: Leon stumbled upon the movie, The Motorcycle Diaries, which tells the story of Che Guevara, who journaled his journies of travel through South America relying on the kindness of strangers.
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” — Tony Robbins
In 2004, Leon began the first of many projects to become a multiplier for kindness.
Here’s what connection really looks like:
Since starting this new life, Leon has created many projects that have been focused on bringing kindness from the periphery of our social notions to the center of what it means to be human. He’s driven a London Cab across America giving free rides and has driven from London to Mongolia to raise money to get books in the hands of children. He has done three projects where he allowed himself only $5 per day for living expenses and for the rest, he counted on the kindness of strangers to sustain him as he crossed the U.S., Europe, and the United Kingdom. He writes a fabulously uplifting blog all about it!
All of it turns on inspiring others to bring kindness into fashion.
Leon has spent over $200,000 of his own money on acts of kindness. Here’s what can happen when we truly see the pain and also the potential in the life of others:
Ever wonder what happens after a moment like that. I was curious and it didn’t take but a few seconds to find the rest of the story here:
The fuel for all this delicious potential is simple: Kindness and harnessing the power of human connection. And, doing it all with a smile on your face and a spring in your step! – Leon Logothetis
Here’s another inspiring story of truly seeing the humanity in another person:
Now we can’t all give other’s a thousand dollars to get back on their feet, but we can acknowledge someone down on their luck. Maybe after a simple conversation, we find there is some kindness we are in a position to offer.
It’s all in the act of seeing others with our hearts!
We can choose to see all the things that validate a negative worldview or look for opportunities to elevate others. It’s simply a choice between fear and love.
I’m compelled to share one more remarkable story with you that I discovered in my research for this article and then leave you to dive into Leon’s Netflix series on your own adventure in the world of kindness.
Here’s a wonderful, thought-provoking piece were in Leon tells the story of the homeless man who taught him the value of human connection:
Not long after Leon spent the evening with Tony, Leon found him a place to stay and helped to find a way for Tony to enroll in a certificate program to get some career training. There have been setbacks, but Leon has kept in touch with the man who taught him the meaning of real “wealth”. 7
Now, here’s how to take action:
I suspect Leon puts what we can all do next in the best way, so I’ll let him inspire us all. Here’s Leon:
Many of us commit to our families, commit to our jobs, which is understandable, but very few of us commit to ourselves – how to be kind and compassionate to ourselves. If you can do a practical thing, for example, it’s cliche, but if you can do a truly kind thing once a day for thirty days and write it down in a journal, well, I bet – after thirty days – if you do that, your life will be a little better because you’ve shown some love and some compassion to someone else. 8
A closing bit of inspiration: the essence of what so many people are seeing in The Kindness Diaries Project:
It’s all about kindness: seeing it, feeling it, and giving it! Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.” – Leon Logothetis
If you’d like to connect with Leon and stay up to date with his work, please give him a follow over on Instagram!
Stay curious, open and hopeful.
~ Dr. Lynda
Where have you seen acts of kindness lately?
- Logothetis, Leon. “The Kindness Diaries Now Streaming on Netflix.” YouTube, Leon Logothetis, 13 Feb. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN51oWwwbqg. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Logothetis, Leon. “I See You – Leon Logothetis.” YouTube, Leon Logothetis, 29 Dec. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8DLFjQGfFM. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Logothetis, Leon. “#GoBeKind Tour Episode 4: Denver.” YouTube, Leon Logothetis, 3 Nov. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2svcD44M5w. ↩
- Inside Edition. “Homeless Single Father Brought to Tears After Strangers Donate $35,000.” YouTube, Inside Edition, 9 Nov. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYKB9060LXU. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Logothetis, Leon. “#GoBeKind Tour Episode 2:Chicago.” YouTube, Leon Logothetis, 16 Oct. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYednQjJjAg. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Big Think. “Leon Logothetis: Richness Isn’t About What We Have in Our Wallets.” YouTube, Big Think, 20 Jan. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=0eD6WEpCSPg. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Wari, Fitale. “One Man in Pittsburgh Proves That Kindness Fuels Humanity.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 13 June 2017, www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-radio/2017/07/02/Leon-Logothetis-Tony-Holmes-Pittsburgh-Kindness-Diaries-humanity/stories/201706130130. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Keigley, Lacey Eibert. “An Interview with Leon Logothetis of The Kindness Diaries.” Travelers Rest Here, 27 Apr. 2017, travelersresthere.com/2017/04/24/interview-leon-logothetis-kindness-diaries/. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩
- Logothetis, Leon. “#GoBeKind Tour Episode 7: The Path To One.” YouTube, Leon Logothetis, 25 Nov. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qka7S5cLDHQ. Accessed 23 May 2019. ↩