Thursday, January 29, 2015


Leon Logothetis has a passion for adventure.  He is inspired by travel and by the people he meets along the way.  He even has the word "go" in the midst of his last name.  But even more than an unquenchable desire to see the world, Logothetis wants to find the quality of kindness and make human connections.  Why else would he buy a 1978 yellow motorbike with sidecar, name it "Kindness One," take a computer and the clothes on his back and set off on a trip around the world?

Leaving his steady girlfriend Lina and his faithful dog Winston, Logothetis left Los Angeles, his adopted home, and he determined he would travel the globe without any money in his pocket.  His hope was that he could persuade the strangers he met to buy him a tank of gas, a meal or a bed for the night.

Finding Good Samaritans proved challenging in many places from Cambodia to Canada, Barcelona to Bosnia, Italy to India.  Whether it was on a farm in Nebraska with real cowboys where Leon learned to lasso a cow with Darrel and Seth, sleeping in a cardboard box with Tony in a Pittsburgh park, hearing two African men Finesse and Tchale sing the music of love in France, or getting a lesson in fencing from Alex in Trieste, Leon was the eager learner, the student, absorbing life lessons.

In his new book "The Kindness Diaries" ($24.99, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.), Leon Logothetis lays out "one man's quest to ignite goodwill and transform lives around the world."  Along the way, as he accepts kindnesses large and small, often from people who had little to nothing of their own, he returns the favors with surprise gifts of his own.  This unlikely Santa Claus wannabe gave the present of clean water and books to an orphanage in Calcutta, a sturdy house for an AIDS mother and son in Cambodia, a rickshaw for Dheeru in India so his sons could go to school, the gift of eyesight to one hundred needy souls in Ho Chi Minh City and a cow for Bekim in Montenegro to change his family's life immeasurably.  These are but a sampling of what Leon did to thank many of those who gave him a hand, a handout and a hand up.

Leon Logothetis spoke recently at R. J. Julia Booksellers in Madison to an attentive crowd who were ready to pack up and mosey along with him.
By reading his intriguing book, you can traverse the world, from your comfy armchair, with this modern day Odysseus on his unique odyssey.  He was inspired by a homeless man with a sign that proclaimed "Kindness is the best medicine."  Leon Logothetis has traveled the globe to accept and bestow random acts of kindness to make the world a better place.  You might just be inspired to perform some acts of kindness yourself.

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