Light One Candle

Skip Navigation Links
Light One Candle
LOC Archive
For Editors

 

Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

The Kindness Diaries
May 31, 2015

Leon Logothetis was walking down Hollywood Boulevard when he saw a homeless man holding a sign that read, “Kindness is the best medicine.” It prompted a lot of memories for Logothetis, who had moved to the U.S. from England where he worked as a successful broker. Despite earning excellent money, he found himself miserable until he decided to abandon his comfortable life and walk across America with only $5.00 in his pocket.

His journey became the basis for a book and television show called “The Amazing Adventures of a Nobody”—and enhanced his desire to make more friendly, human connections in his life.

The homeless man’s sign then triggered a new goal. Logothetis decided to travel around the world on a yellow motorcycle he dubbed “Kindness One” (like Air Force One) and literally live off the kindness of strangers. He wouldn’t spend any money on food, gas, or shelter himself. Everything would have to be provided by the people he met along the way. In turn, he would respond to other people’s generosity with special kindnesses of his own. He chronicled this journey in his book “The Kindness Diaries,” and we spoke about it recently on “Christopher Closeup.”

One of the people Logothetis met was Willy, who invited him to stay in his home. Originally from Scotland, Willy had moved to Colorado and dedicated his life to helping others after hearing Billy Graham speak in 1984. He and his wife Cheri were currently working at a retirement home where a resident named Kay was celebrating her 96th birthday. Willy said, “If we don’t bring [Kay] cake, no one else will.”

When Logothetis met Kay, she told him why she adores Willy: “He makes me feel like I’m part of the human race and not just some old leftover luggage.” Logothetis realized that this was the perfect opportunity to show kindness to a man who was helping others. When he discovered that Willy and Cheri were going to miss their son’s wedding in Scotland because they couldn’t afford the plane fare, he paid for their trip himself. Willy shed tears of gratitude and noted, “This is the answer to my prayers.”

Another memorable encounter occurred on the streets of Pittsburgh. Logothetis approached a man in a park, told him what he was doing, and asked if he could provide him with a place to stay. The man, named Tony, responded that he was homeless.

Logothetis said, “[Tony] offered to put me up for the night, which was basically to sleep next to him on the streets of Pittsburgh. He protected me, he fed me, he gave me some of his clothes. It was one of the most powerful, heart-opening experiences I’ve ever had. There I was, sleeping on the streets next to this man who had nothing, and basically gave me everything! The next morning, I felt in my heart that I needed to help him. I set him up in an apartment and sent him back to school because he wanted to become a chef. So now he’s learning to become a chef.”

Logothetis hopes readers take a lesson from his experiences: “We turn on the news and it’s all bad, yet there’s so much more goodness around than we get to see. Kindness doesn’t have to be a grand expedition. You have small acts and big acts. But it’s a way of life. It’s a smile when you check into a hotel, it’s a ‘good day’ to someone you see on the street. Little things like that go a long way.”

 

 

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, BEING A CHRISTOPHER, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org