Kindness nowadays is a currency left unspent. As the morning news is oversaturated with mass shootings and burning buildings and shots of devastation and carnage, the world grows a little stiller. Parents clutch their children a little tighter.
But for Leon Logothetis, 40, this modern-day disposition is not a true reflection of how we are, or how we live.
Suffering from depression and feeling like he was living a lie, this London stockbroker decided to quit his job and travel around the world. Somewhere along the dirt roads and dilapidated villages, he discovered a deeper layer of humanity — one enshrouded in kindness.
Logothetis journeyed the world on his yellow motorbike called Kindness One and with a small camera crew to film The Kindness Diaries, his Netflix documentary about the experience. In order to prove his point, he crossed borders and stepped into new countries without a single penny in his pocket.
With a $0 allowance, Logothetis relied on the help of strangers he met along the way.
He had no prearranged shelters, no food, and no gas. The entire premise of his journey was built on instability. But his point was to show you can rely on the kindness of strangers, people who accepted him into their house without hesitation and who had the least but gave him the most.
As he explained in the opening lines of his documentary, “I believe that up close, there is enough good, enough love, and enough pure kindness to make the world go round, and that is what inspired my journey.”
He was able to travel to nearly 20 countries in five months.
He met a diverse range of people on his journey, one of whom was a homeless man who couldn’t offer Logothetis a home to stay in, but shared his meager belongings and shelter nonetheless. According to an interview on Today, encounters like these served to remind Logothetis of unity and human compassion.
“The greatest lesson I learned is that we’re all the same,” he said. “The most important thing is what you give to another human being and what you give to yourself: how you treat others and how you treat yourself.”
The kindness of the strangers he met was not left unreciprocated.
Logothetis may have restricted himself to a $0 allowance, but the amount he spent on others didn’t adhere to the same limit.
The people that assisted him along his journey found their generosity rewarded. The homeless man was put up in a house and enrolled in a certificate program to help him get back on his feet. In Vietnam, Logothetis paid for the eye surgeries of 100 patients to help give sight back to the impoverished.
It is these individual actions that amount to a collective social push towards change that is spearheaded by Logothetis. He seeks to change the way people think about others, to fortify a fundamental human connection between all. He does it for empathy. For compassion.
“It doesn’t matter what religion you are, doesn’t matter what color you are, doesn’t matter where you live,” said Logothetis. “Each person wants to be seen, wants to be loved, wants to be valued, wants to be heard.”