Last Thursday I had the honour of seeing Leon Logothetis of “The Kindness Diaries” speak. He was speaking at a fundraiser for Mom2Mom Africa, a local Cambridge group. Mom2Mom’s vision is “to empower students in Tanzania, and supporters worldwide, through education”.
My dad came from Tanzania (although when he lived there it was called Tanganyika), and I am always looking for ways to support the nation. So I was there due to the Tanzanian connection. Quite frankly, I did not even know who Leon Logothetis was. It’s true! I don’t have Netflix, and, in fact, I have no cable connection at all. I can hear the gasp from some of you. But, to be honest, as a writer, I would far prefer spending my time reading.
So for those of you who are like me and who have never seen “The Kindness Diaries”, here is a trailer for it.
It looks pretty impressive, and I do hope that I can see it someday. I am already reading the book.
Despite not knowing who he is, I was impressed with Logothetis’ message. He believes that one of the biggest problems in western society is that we lack community. We no longer need each other. He also believes that a solution to this is kindness. Kindness is free. It also allows people to be seen, and we all want to be seen. Kindness says that we are not alone.
One of Logothetis’ projects is a postcard one. He gave members of the audience postcards. Our homework was to write to him on the postcard we received with an act of kindness we had done. For every postcard he receives, he will donate a book to a child, up to 10,000 books. What a fantastic idea! If you are a teacher and wish to receive postcards for your class, you can contact him on Facebook with your request.
Another thing that Logothetis talked about is the media’s fascination with the negative in the world. They put a microscope to everything that is bad. If that is the case, he asked, why could they not put a microscope to the good? To be honest, this is another reason why I stopped watching TV, especially the news, a long time ago.
This leads me to my book review, which addresses a similar issue. In “Come with me” by Holly M. McGhee, a little girl is frightened by the anger and hatred she sees on the news all over the world. So she asks how she could make the world a better place. First her papa and then her mama take her out into their community and show how her what to do. When she asks to go by herself, the parents hesitate but then decide that “They would not live in fear” and so allow her to go. She invites her neighbour, the boy across the hall, to go out into the community with her in order to make the world a better place.
This is a brilliant book and one that is appropriate for all ages. I challenge you to turn off the TV, read the book, and then go out into your community. Because, as the back cover says, “Because as small as it may seem, your part matters to the world.”
I have already sent out my postcard to Leon Logothetis telling him that my daughter and I made rocks and bookmarks with inspirational words on them for people to find. Maybe you think this is a small act, but if everyone lifted up each other with positive messages, imagine what kind of world we would live in.
What random act of kindness have you done lately? I love to read your comments.