Kindness is the new cool
I recently discovered a new version of “Random Acts of Kindness” inspired by a young man whose mission seems almost too good to be true. It began ten years after he had left a lucrative but uninspiring career to travel the world, hoping to discover his calling.
While Leon Logothetis, a young Englishman of Greek descent, was walking along Hollywood Boulevard in California in 2013, he spotted an old cardboard box with the handwritten message, “Kindness is the Best Medicine” scrawled across it.
“Something about those words rammed straight into me. It was like an epiphany. There’s an entire world of people willing to teach you their lessons if you’re willing to learn.”
“The Kindness Diaries,” one of his many projects, recount his worldwide travel and philanthropy through books and videos published and produced over the next few years.
He reaches out to find the people who exemplify authentic generosity and kindness when given the opportunity – to buy him a tank of gas for his motorcycle “Kindness One” or a snack or meal. When he asks to spend the night in their homes he is likely to be turned down. However, when he is invited to stay overnight by a few of the most generous people on earth, more often than you might expect, he surprises his hosts with amazing kindness of his own.
In Philadelphia, one homeless man invited Leon to sleep on a doorstep where he had been living several years and lent him his spare blanket for cover. The following morning, Leon returned his host’s kindness with an offer to provide him a home of his own and enough funding to complete his education. Photos taken a few years later, show this proud man as a smiling chef serving customers in his own restaurant as a fully participating citizen again.
On the other side of the world in India where English speakers are harder to find, Leon’s luck led him to a rickshaw driver who guided him around New Deli’s neighborhoods and main attractions all day. Through conversations, Leon discovered his new friend’s number one priority was to provide an education for his children which was going to be very difficult to afford. This man’s family suffered because he did not own his tuk-tuk, but had to rent it monthly at a high price. Some days his family even went without food.
When Leon asked if he could stay in his home over night, the man immediately invited him to come to his home for dinner and sleep in the one bed he normally shared with his pregnant wife and two small children. The next morning Leon reciprocated with a promise to his host of a new rickshaw of his own that would cost him nothing. More importantly, his children’s education, books and uniforms were now guaranteed.
These are only two of Leon’s many remarkable random acts of Kindness. His contributions to others who have helped him come from his own pocket, from his production company, from sales of his bestselling books, and from hundreds of videos of his travels, speeches on college campuses and to business groups.
Over the last eight years, he has written and published a book almost every year and produced over 100 videos on youtube. I watched all 13 segments of “The Kindness Diaries” free on Amazon Prime. It is also available on Netflix.
I recently read his book, “Live, Love, Explore: Discover the way of the traveler – A road map to the life you were meant to live” found in the public library. Each concise chapter ends with a list of writing prompts for the reader to explore. “Go Be Kind,” is his most recent book published in March 2019.
The first few words I read that immediately caught my attention after beginning my online search for “Kindness” were written by Leon. If we all adopted his motto, our world might be a saner, safer, happier and kinder place for everyone.
HAPPINESS is the new rich.
INNER PEACE is the new success.
HEALTH is the new wealth.
KINDNESS is the new cool.
Susan Hendricks leads personal writing groups and workshops approved by the SC Social Work Examiners Board for CEU credits for mental health counselors. She is an instructor for the Therapeutic Writing Institute online. For all of her Columbia Star columns click: www.susanhendricks.com/columbia-star-news. For more, see: www.wholistictherapyandcoaching.com/
SUBSCRIBE FOR REGULAR UPDATES & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications right to your email.