GLENN: Man, we have spent the last hour talking about the powerful people in the world. Putin, Trump, president of China, even Assad, the North Korean dictator. The most powerful person in the world perhaps doesn't even believe it. The most powerful person that I know is you. If you set your mind to it, and you believe that you can truly make a difference. If all of us do that, the world changes. I'm going to introduce you next to a guy who believes he can change the world by convincing you, you can change the world. We go there right now.
Leon Logothetis, a man running a documentary called the "Kindness Diaries" on Netflix. You can see it, and he's traveling the world on a mission of kindness. I'll let him explain it, but first, I just going to find out who you are. What's your background? Where -- you know, where are you there?
LEON: Sure. So I used to be a broker in the city of London on the outside, I had everything. And on the inside, I had nothing. Emotionally, spiritually bankrupt. And then I happened to cross a movie which is a romanticized version of Che Guevara traveling around South America.
GLENN: When you say romanticized version of Che Guevara, what is that?
LEON: It wasn't the real version. It was the nice version.
GLENN: So I just wanted to make sure you knew who Che Guevara was.
LEON: There was something about that movie that inspired me because he was giving back in a profound way, and I decided I was going to quit my job and start traveling the world relying on kindness.
STU: So Che has done something good.
LEON: Exactly. Any movie. That's why I always preface it by saying the romanticized version.
GLENN: It's amazing because you walked in the studios and said I love your artwork of Winston Churchill, and he just had a quick conversation of Winston Churchill who you adore perhaps even more than I do, and I think Winston Churchill is one of the greatest men to ever Lill.
So for you to say Che Guevara changed my life, it's, like, whoa how does that fit?
LEON: Yeah, and some people say that to me. Che wasn't the hero to me, obviously, but simply just the movie. Have you watched the movie?
GLENN: I have not just because I know who Che is.
LEON: Yeah. Yeah.
LEON: And I quit my job, and I started to travel the world relying on kindness.
GLENN: What does that mean?
LEON: It means I had no money, I had no food, I had no place to stay. All I had was my vintage yellow motorbike called kindness one, sort of like Air Force 1 but a little bit yellower. And I would give back to unsuspecting good Samaritans like-changing gifts based on being helped by them, and they had no idea what was going on. And it was really just relying on kindness.
GLENN: So it's kind of like the New Testament make no -- don't worry about tomorrow. Don't worry about where you're going, where you're going to sleep, what you're going to eat. Just go and do good.
LEON: That was the aim.
GLENN: Okay. And what do you mean -- first of all, how were they kind to you? By giving you a place to sleep, by what?
LEON: Yeah. Primarily it was human interaction, human connection. So if I felt connected to someone, and they felt connected to me, they would maybe give me some gas, put me up in their house, maybe give me some food. And then I would go from them to the next person. For example, I met a homeless chap in Pittsburgh who, you know, had nothing, really, except one bag. Yet he offered for me to sleep on the streets with him. He offered to protect me. He offered to feed me. He offered to give me some clothes, and that was an act of kindness based on, you know, he didn't know what was going to happen, but I was fortunate enough to be able to put him up in a house and send him back to school.
But really, it was -- he taught me a really powerful lesson that true wealth is not in our wallets, but it's in our hearts. Does that mean that money's not important? Of course not. Money is very important. But the truest of wealth comes from in here.
GLENN: So how do you mean you were lucky enough to be able to send him back to school and put him up in a house?
LEON: Sure. So I've had many opportunities, you know? I worked in the city of London, I had financial security. So what I mean lucky enough, I mean I had the means to give back to him. I had the means to give him an opportunity.
PAT: So when you said you didn't have any money, you didn't really mean you had no money.
LEON: I was doing a social experiment in my everyday life of course I have money. But in that moment for those six months, I had no money, and I was relying on --
PAT: Now, did you take your, like, credit card with you just in case?
PAT: Oh, you didn't?
PAT: Really? You had no back up plan?
LEON: We were filming the Netflix show, so I had a crew and the crew --
GLENN: And a catering truck.
LEON: A what?
GLENN: And a catering truck.
You were really homeless.
PAT: Man versus wild.
LEON: What's interesting is the crew would film, and then they would leave. And I have a book there are many moments that weren't in the film because the crew wasn't there. So, for example, with that night with Tony, there was a moment where another homeless chap was having a moment but no one filmed that because no one was there except me and Tony and this other chap.
STU: That's really interesting.
GLENN: Yeah, it is.
STU: So was there a moment when you were looking at this and you were saying, you know, you have this crew there, were the people suspicious of you?
LEON: Sure. Look, I think ultimately I would go up to people without the camera because if you just go up to someone with a camera, they're, like, you know, please get out of my face. So I would explain what I was doing and if they were willing to help or not willing to help, but they were willing to be on camera I would say, look, we have a camera crew. Are you okay to be filmed? That's really how it would go.
PAT: So with this homeless guy.
PAT: You bought him a house?
LEON: No. I put him up in a house. So he now lives in an apartment.
GLENN: And he's gone back to school? How's he doing?
LEON: Yeah. It's not a Hollywood ending. So, unfortunately, hopelessness isn't just a -- it's not just physical, it's also mental. So he found himself in some trouble, but he's got back on his feet, he's back in a house, and I'm working to get him back into school. But it's not a Hollywood ending. I wish it was.
GLENN: Those are very hard to find. We know -- what's his name. Gardner. Chris Gardner from the pursuit of happiness, know him quite well and those endings are few and far between.
STU: It's interesting to look at that and say -- so you go through this process and obviously the stories are kind of about changing other people. But there's a huge change that happened in you going through this process.
LEON: Without the shadow of a doubt.
GLENN: Who was really helping who?
LEON: I think we were both helping each other, you know? That's the reality. I mean, when I did the journey, when you get such kindness, when you meet people who open their hearts up in such a beautiful way, you can't help but be changed. And I was definitely changed. I was changed by Tony.
LEON: Because he had nothing. Yet he had everything. And it was like the opposite of me because on the outside, I had everything. On the inside, I had nothing. And this chap on the inside had everything and the outside had nothing.
GLENN: What do you mean by everything?
LEON: He came from his heart. He showed kindness. He was open hearted, and I think many of us live up here. I know that I did. And he taught me how to live down here. It wasn't just like that. It wasn't just like I met Tony, and it all changed. But it was kind of the catalyst. It was another moment, like, whoa there's a chap that has nothing on the outside, and we're taught that you have to have everything on the outside. Don't get me wrong. Living on the streets is not fun. This guy was doing it for years, many people do it for their whole lives.
GLENN: You said it all when he said he would protect you.
GLENN: To me, that's, you know -- I'm sorry I know you're British but to say chap doesn't even -- it dresses hopelessness up too much for an American. Were you afraid -- you know, because that is a part of being homeless. It's extraordinarily dangerous. Mental illness is a real problem with hopelessness. Some people are homeless for a reason. They are social misfits, and they like being social misfits. The drugs. I mean, it's a dangerous world.
LEON: That's a great question, and I was told specifically on that night not to stay in this specific park. And prior to meeting Tony. I was walking the streets and said, look, don't stay in this park past sundown. Yet when I met him, he said to me you can stay with me. Every part of my body was, like, do not stay on the streets of Pittsburgh. But there was this one little small voice that said "You have to stay with this man."
And I followed that voice, and it was correct because like I said, he did protect me. And my intuition just guided me to that moment.
GLENN: Are you a religious man at all?
LEON: I wouldn't say religious.
LEON: Faith spiritually, yes.
GLENN: Is that new for you?
LEON: It was, yes. It's not anymore. But it was. I believe you can't have experiences like that with Tony and not change, and not --
GLENN: Not feel that you're connected somehow.
PAT: Did you spend nights without, like, a place to live, a place to stay and days without food?
LEON: Yes. Not days without food. I would always find someone to give me food. But there were times --
PAT: Every day somebody gave you food?
LEON: Yes. Yes. It's truly amazing.
PAT: Just sometimes you didn't have a shelter?
GLENN: There was a study that came out that said while the wealthy do give, the proportion is way out of whack. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to give big. You know, you'll give half of what you have. Did you find a difference while you were on the street? Did you -- what did you learn about giving?
LEON: Look, what I learned was that people who don't have a lot often have a sense of community that people who have a lot don't have. And when you have this sense of community, you just give. I was in India, and I end up sleeping in the slums with this richer driver and his family. And although on the outside I would never want to sleep in the slums. I would never want to sleep in the slums. There was just a peace of mind.
GLENN: When you say slums, people have no idea what Indian slums are. That's poverty.
LEON: Raw sewage in the streets.
STU: We have a problem when my car almost never recognizes what I said. I imagine going through this, those types of problems are put in a completely different perspective for you now.
GLENN: When you went back, were you a little grossed out by your former lifestyle?
LEON: I was grossed out by the way that I was living on the outside. I was grossed out by the fact that I had no -- in those days -- sense of connection. I was grossed out by the fact that I didn't have a sense of community. That I wasn't coming from my heart. That I wasn't being kind. That I was focused on one thing and that was just making money. There's nothing wrong with making money. But when you just make money and you don't come from your heart and you don't give back, that grossed me out.
GLENN: You having a hard time holding it?
LEON: What do you mean?
GLENN: You having a hard time going back into the world and holding tight to what you had when you were on the streets?
LEON: It's a great question. And sometimes, yes, but I made a commitment to myself. And I said to myself that I was going to commit to this way of life. Imperfectly because no one's perfect. But I was going to do everything in my power to come from a place of kindness, I was going to do everything in my power to see another human being because I was never seeing.
GLENN: What happened to you? Because you don't just wake up and say I want to give it all up. So what happened to you?
LEON: So what happened to me on a emotional level I was in deep pain. Many of us are in pain yet we don't face it. And the pain was so great.
GLENN: Do you mind explaining the pain?
LEON: Yeah. Sure. I was just very, very depressed and never felt seen in my home and also at school. I never felt like I was following my purpose, and it was just -- it reached a point where it broke. The dam broke and leaving my job was the only thing I could do because the pain was just too much. That's -- had the pain not been that much, I wouldn't have done it.
LEON: I would have still been there.
GLENN: It bothers me that we live in a society now that wants to take away pain and suffering. I don't mean this like we've got to help suffering people. But we don't want anybody to fail. We don't want our kids to fail. We want to swoop in. There's always a drug for something. There's always a bailout for something. Every lesson of real importance that I've ever learned came from the bottom of my soul, you know? A place I didn't want to be. That's where I found out who I was. That's when I actually grew. When I'm just kind of drifting along and everything is okay, and I'm just kind of even numb, there's no growth there. I don't connect with anyone. I don't reach outside of myself.
LEON: Interesting. You're a Winston Churchill fan.
LEON: And Winston Churchill has a very famous quote, which I'm sure you know. When you find yourself walking through hell, keep walking. And pain is not pleasant.
LEON: But if you find your way through it, there's a lot of light comes your way.
GLENN: Uh-huh. What do you have to tell us about, you know, here in America and Europe too, things are getting bad. Things are -- you know it over in the UK. There's trouble coming our way. And I am convinced the biggest trouble we face is from us -- not from the governments or anybody trying to kill us but from us. We don't have a sense of community anymore. We don't trust each other. We don't trust our institutions. And, you know, Toqueville came from France and studied in the 1800s what made America great was America was good. And we've let institutions and governments do things for us, and we're losing our kindness.
When you saw the streets of all over the world, and then you saw the streets of America, is there a difference in America? Or is it the same? Are we more callous, or are we kinder, or are we like everybody else?
LEON: I think ultimately one of the greatest lessons I learned was that everyone simply wherever you are, what religion you are, it doesn't matter what color you are, simply just wants to be seen. By being seen, I mean being loved, being heard, having a sense of community. And in the western world, we come too much from our heads. We come too much from our iPhones. We come too much from being connected but not really being connected. And I would say just simplify things. I go, and I speak at schools all the time, and I tell them, look, each and every one of you can change the world. And you can simply change the world by being kind to each other. By coming from your heart. It's such a simple thing. And being connected and just dropping down from the madness.
GLENN: Leon Logothetis, he has a new book out and Netflix documentary called the "Kindness Diaries." It is a pleasure to meet you.
LEON: Thank you so much.