Don’t be perfect, just be kind

Philanthropist Leon Logothetis speaks to a modest audience at the Unionville High School auditorium, talking about the need to be kind. The slide on te screen shows him on his Kindness One motorcycle with homeless man Tony Homes sitting in the sidecar.

It was a simple message: Be kind. Not perfect, just kind.

The message came from Leon Logothetis and the message was addressed to Unionville-Chadds Ford School District students and parents during s special evening at Unionville High School Thursday night.

Logothetis is the man behind the Netflix series “The Kindness Diaries,” in which he travels the world “living on the kindness of others.” His website says he’s a global adventurer, motivational speaker and philanthropist.

“He gave up his job as a broker and his home in London for a life on the road. Leon has now visited more than 90 countries and traveled to every continent,” the site says.

He told the modest-sized audience at UHS that he left his job as a stockbroker because while he made money, he felt empty inside. Inspired by the film “The Motorcycle Diaries” about Che Guevara, he came to the United States and hitch-hiked his way across the country asking people if he could sleep in their homes. He did the same thing on the way back east, except now he had a yellow motorcycle with a sidecar. He called the bike Kindness One.

During that trip back to the east coast, he said, he met a man named Tony Holmes in Pittsburgh and asked if he could stay in the man’s home. However, Holmes was homeless, but he offered to let Logothetis sleep in the same area of the sidewalk where he slept and said he would protect the traveler overnight. Homes also offered him some clean underwear.

In response, Logothetis offered to pay for Holmes to have a home and to enter a certificate program so he can live his dream of opening an Italian restaurant.

“If a homeless man can be kind, no one has an excuse [not to be kind],” he told the audience.

He also used the late boxer Mohammed Ali as an example to show that kindness isn’t weakness. He told the audience that Ali could never be considered weak, but “he lived by his heart.”

Logothetis challenged the students and their families to do something kind for strangers because being kind to others also benefits the person being kind. “Kindness is the best medicine,” he said.”

It was Principal Jimmy Conley who was instrumental in getting Logothetis to speak at the school after watching “The Kindness Diaries” on Netflix with his family.

“We were inspired by his story,” Conley said. Conley’s wife later learned that Logothetis was on a speaking tour, so Conley made contact with Logothetis’ people and arranged the visit to UHS.

He also said Logothetis plans to come back to UHS “to work with my student leadership group to kick off a kindness project. Still to be determined by the students, but they are really excited...and have a lot of work to do, now.”

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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