In a world where you can see negativity wherever you look, it’s important to remember that so many people are out there doing good. Whether it’s your neighbor who reads to the elderly, or your nephew who helps out at the animal shelter, there are random acts of kindness happening all over the world at any given moment. This man was fed up with the way his life was going, so he decided to take some advice from his past to make a difference to the world.Born in London, England, Leon Logothesis didn’t necessarily have the greatest start at life. Like so many other children, Leon was the victim of relentless bullies. Fortunately, he had a teacher that made a huge difference in his life. “As a kid, I would say… I was saved by a teacher that made me feel like I mattered, by being kind,” said Leon.
When Leon became an adult, he took a job as a stockbroker in London. Unfortunately, Leon wasn’t enjoying the life that he was living. “I was successful but I was unhappy, I was disconnected. I was fortunate to be able to travel wherever I wanted. But I felt there had to be so much more in my life than just sitting behind a desk,” Leon explained in an interview with Forbes.
One day, Leon began reading the book “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which is a true story based on Che Guevara’s motorcycle trip across South America. It was then that Leon realized he needed to make some drastic changes in his life. “In that moment, I realized that there was another way to live. I didn’t have to sit behind that desk. I could go out and connect with people. I could go out and be inspired by people,” explained Leon.
Leon began thinking about ways to make himself feel better about where his life was going. “That was a tipping point for me,” Leon said. “Because I remember walking into work every day and spending 16 hours a day at work and thinking, ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’ On the outside, I had everything you could want, but on the inside, I had nothing.”
So, Leon decided to quit his job to pursue a life that he considered worth living. He knew that he had always wanted to travel, so he began thinking about where he should go. Eventually, he decided to go to the United States, but he would do it with a bit of a twist. Leon challenged himself to travel throughout the United States on only $5 a day.
One day in 2013, Leon was walking down Hollywood Boulevard when he noticed a sign.“This homeless chap was holding it. It read, ‘Kindness is the best medicine.’ Something about those words rammed straight into me. It was like an epiphany,” recalled Leon in an interview with People. Leon instantly became inspired to do something bigger with his life.
Instead of volunteering at a homeless shelter or food bank, Leon had something a bit more intense in mind. He was going to travel all over the world, looking for signs of human kindness. But to make things a little more interesting, Leon was going to repay them for their generosity.
Leon was ready to make a difference to the world, so he set out on an incredible journey from Alaska to Argentina. And the fact that he did it all in a 50-year-old yellow VW Beetle, or a vintage yellow motorcycle. Before you think that Leon was just going around passing out money, you have to understand that there were a few rules that he followed along the way.
First off, he could only travel around thanks to the kindness of strangers! This meant that he relied only on strangers to provide him with food, shelter, and gas. Another stipulation was that he couldn’t accept money from anyone that he met.
While he was on his travels, he returned the acts of kindness with self-funded good deeds. For example, he helped build the second floor of a school for underprivileged students in Peru, he’s fed orphans in Costa Rica, and he helped save 100 stray dogs in Ecuador. Leon also helped to give sight to 100 people by funding their surgery. He was looking for good Samaritans in the world, but he really just needed to look in the mirror to find one!
Now, Leo has traveled to every single continent, visiting more than 100 countries! While he’s been traveling, he has spent more than $200,000 of his own money to help those that have shown their kindness to him. “I ended up giving about 14 gifts in my travels. It really depended on the person that I met,” he explained.
Leon is unbelievably fortunate to have met so many different types of people during his journey. “One person, for example, Tony, a young homeless man in Pittsburgh. It was so obvious that his life would benefit from a gift. There were other people that were really kind to me and we really connected but for whatever reason, it seemed like they didn’t need anything.”
It truly seems like there’s no end to Leon’s unrelenting kindness.“In India, I met this riverboat driver and he let me stay in his house. He was telling me the night before about how he was giving his children their education. He didn’t have the money to send his kids to school. So I told him I would pay for both of his kids to go to school until they are 18 years old,” explained Leon.
Imagine being told that someone was going to pay for your children to go to school! The father must have been completely taken aback by Leon’s generosity. “He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Finally, after explaining the gift he was overcome with emotion when he understood what was happening.”
Leon, who has documented his travels on the Netflix series The Kindness Diaries, says that the kind teacher from his past inspired him to make a difference. “And I promised myself that I would go out into the world and do what she did for me, for others,” he explained. “I am where I am today because people inspired me. If I can inspire someone else then that’s a wonderful feeling.”
Leon has a bit to say about how powerful human kindness is to the world.”It’s sometimes seen as being soft. But kindness isn’t a weakness. Kindness is profound strength.” As much as Leon enjoys traveling around the world helping strangers, it seems there’s so more to him than just being nice to people.
Leon believes that it’s not just about giving someone something that they wouldn’t normally be able to have. “I found there was so much more and it was about connecting with people. I like to call it the healing power of human connection,” Leon said. “My definition of kindness is simply helping someone feel less alone. When you’re doing that, you’re being kind.”
Ever since he walked away from his desk job in 2004, Leon has made a career out of his travels. Not only does he have a show on Netflix, but he’s also a published author. His latest book, “Go Be Kind,” is due to come out at the end of March! This globetrotter has definitely changed since his days as a stockbroker.
So what kind of advice does this inspirational man have about being kind? Well, it’s pretty simple. He just advises people not to overthink it! And he’s right. Being nice doesn’t take too much thought. In fact, it takes a lot more thought and energy to be mean to someone. So, what are you going to do to be kind? Are you feeling inspired to help someone in your community today?