KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
USING THE GENEROSITY OF OTHERS TO TRANSPORT AND FEED HIM, A MAN GIVES BACK AND INSPIRES US
Rowena and I had a bit of a binge recently watching season two of The Kindness Diaries. I hadn’t heard of this series before, even though it is obviously very popular. Leon Logothetis, who is now a global adventurer, motivational speaker and philanthropist, introduces us to the philosophy of the kindness of strangers.
In the first series he had a bright yellow vintage Chang Jiang motorbike that he rode around the world relying on the kindness of strangers for food, shelter and fuel. In this series he takes a bright yellow 30-year-old VW Beetle that he names Kindness 2 and drives it from Alaska to Argentina. Again, he sets off with no money, no food and no
shelter. There’s no doubt that he is an unusual man.
He used to be a broker in the city of London, where he felt uninspired and chronically depressed. He gave it all up for a life on the road. This radical life change was inspired by the inspirational movie The Motorcycle Diaries.
Beyond that he is an advocate for kindness as he seeks out the support of complete strangers to assist him on the journey, often staying overnight, being provided with food and fuel as he works his way down one of the longest roads in the world to finish in Ushaia, Argentina.
While that trip alone would be arduous enough, to do it as he does is enthralling and enlightening because of what people do for him out of the goodness of their hearts.
The incredible stories of the people he encounters along the way can be tragic, however their generosity is uplifting and inspiring, a real reminder (to quote from Desiderata) “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world”.
The lovely thing is that this is not a one-way street. Leon brings the dreams of those he meets into reality with his philanthropy and amazing generosity.
Supporting a young woman who was a refugee to bring her vision of a charity for children to life, sending another couple to Jerusalem to fulfil a dream, completing the building of a house for an impoverished couple who share their food and home with many people.
The stories are wonderful, and I finished the series feeling buoyed by the fact that there is great good in our world.
While I am obviously an advocate for the program, I think the effect is more than that. It was a timely reminder that we can all do good, be generous with what we have and support the dreams of others in whatever way, large or small.
Although Gandhi didn’t say “Be the change you want to see in the world”, there is still a lot to be done with small acts of kindness. Where could you start?