Leon Logothetis, creator and host of the series The Kindness Diaries, now streaming on Netflix, has traveled the world, experiencing and spreading kindness as he gives life-changing gifts to those he encounters along the way. On October 24, he also traveled to The Willow School, presenting to Willow students by day and to a crowd of over 200 people at night. Leon’s talk was a part of the Common Ground Speaks speaker series organized by local private school parents.
Leon is known as a philanthropist, global traveler, motivational speaker, and author. In The Kindness Diaries season two, Logothetis travels from Alaska to Argentina in his yellow VW bug, relying solely on the kindness of strangers. The purpose of the series, Leon said, is to demonstrate that “up close there is enough good, enough love, and enough pure kindness to make the world go round.” Leon continues the cycle of kindness by helping those he meets along his travels make a difference in their communities.
“When I walked into this school, I immediately felt love,” Leon said to Willow middle schoolers during his talk. He reminded students that “kindness is cool,” and encouraged them not only to be kind, but also to share their pain with each other, their teachers, and their parents. Leon asked students to share what it felt like when people are unkind to them or kind to them. One student volunteer, Yari, was asked to select three fellow students from the audience who had been kind to him.
“How does that make you feel?” Leon asked Vy Lan, who Yari had identified as a person who had been kind to him. “Well, first it makes me feel proud, but I also feel like it should be normal to be kind,” Vy Lan said. “It shouldn’t be a big deal.”
Leon also asked students to identify teachers that were kind to them, aka their kindness heroes. After she was chosen and asked why she was kind to students, Willow middle school science teacher Alexis Smith responded, “People weren’t always kind to me when I was your age. I want you to know that you are loved.”
“We were so thrilled to have Leon Legothetis join Common Grounds Speaks at The Willow School and speak to our students earlier that day,” said Willow Assistant Head of School Meagan Coy. ““Ethical decision making is a key component of Willow’s mission, and his message about kindness and paying it forward really reinforces Willow’s Virtues Program.”
At the evening Common Ground Speaks event for the public, Logothetis reinforced these messages of kindness for a broader audience, urging attendees to really see each other, practice empathy, and infuse kindness into their everyday lives.
“Showing kindness and compassion is not just beneficial to the person being helped, but for the individual providing that help, as well as anyone who witnesses that act of kindness. Treating each other kindly benefits everyone in the community, and it’s contagious,” Willow Head of School Francisco Ayala added. “Seeing others being treated with compassion inspires and motivates us to do the same.”