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Southwest Airlines Shows the Luv on ‘The Kindness Diaries’

On “The Kindness Diaries” season 2 episode 5, traveler Leon Logothetis is faced with a decision. Several government websites have issued travel advisories for the road he wants to use to head from Mexico to Costa Rica. It’s unsafe because people have been robbed, kidnapped and worse. This place may be the best area to test his theory of kindness in, and Logothetis says he would do it if he were alone. However, he has his camera crew to think about.

Logothetis doesn’t just rely on the government for information; he asks the locals about the area and traveling there. The answers are a mixed bag. Some people believe it’s safe enough. Others say it’s not safe at all. One goes so far as to say that Logothetis would probably have his vehicle stolen.

Since he is trying to rely on the kindness of others, Logothetis is worried that if he returns to the U.S., his trip will be over. The only other ways to get him and his vehicle to Costa Rica are by plane or by ship. Still, the safety of his crew wins out. He goes back to San Diego where he meets teachers Peter and Paul, who allow him to stay at their house while he tries to find transportation.

A couple days in to trying every avenue possible to get the transportation he needs, Logothetis is left with a long shot. It pays off. True to their Luv reputation, Southwest Airlines offers to cover the costs of transportation for Logothetis and his car. Not only was this kind to Logothetis, but its ripple effects could be felt immediately in Houston where Logothetis has a long layover and highlights the work of a veteran nonprofit that helps people in disasters – Team Rubicon.

Southwest’s act of kindness will continue to pay off as Logothetis continues to make his way south. Prior to the transportation donation, Logothetis had helped a young woman in Utah start a nonprofit, and his gift to a family in Mexico resulted in the family giving away tamales that they normally used to pay their rent. Perhaps, the best part of Southwest’s gift was that it allowed the show to continue. It’s the shows inspirational message that will make the largest difference. Though you may have to go a little out of your way to be kinder, you don’t have to travel across the world to affect others in a good way.

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Kindness takes a trip on “The Kindness Diaries” Season 2, Episode 1

In “The Kindness Diaries,” Leon Logothetis is traveling from Alaska to Argentina relying on the kindness of strangers to feed him and give him lodging. He’s driving a Volkswagen Beetle without a heater in the winter over the Al-Can through Canada.

We were just into the first part of the show, before he made it to Canada, when my wife asked me if people in Alaska were really that kind. I got teary-eyed remembering my time there because yes, they are.

Alaska is a harsh and lonely country. I once traveled on a highway for three hours, and no other car passed me. If you get in trouble, you need the very next person who passes by to stop and assist you. Alaskans, in general, are more than happy to do so because they know what they would want if they were in trouble.

Most of the kindnesses I received while in Alaska were from friends. My first camping trip with a couple of people I barely knew set the stage for the next six years. I received freshly caught salmon on more than one occasion. Even a couple of my rooming situations sprang up because I had a friend who needed a renter, and he was willing to rent to me (at a price I could afford even when I was a student).

I don’t know if I paid back all the kindnesses. I gave my fair share of unexpected gifts. I stopped at traffic accidents in town (because of my Red Cross training and that same friend who rented me a room on more than one occasion).

One time we stopped to see what the vehicle at the top of a hill just outside of Valdez was doing – maybe he was parked, maybe he was taking a break. The truck was broken. My friend and I didn’t know how to fix his vehicle, so we drove back toward Valdez to a phone that the guy could use. (Cell phones were out of range at the time.) When he made the call, we drove him back to the truck though we would have driven him into Valdez if he needed. He gave us fresh caught prawns. I would have refused, but again, my friend was there to accept the gift, and we turned it into one of the best meals I had in Alaska.

Alaskans aren’t friendly because of guns or out of fear. They’re friendly because they know the value of life. They know the value of kindness. They know how hard it is to survive on the frontier. As much as many of them move to get away from people, I always felt like I could count on them to help me out before I experienced any real trouble.

We need more kindness in our lives. Alaska taught me that, and this program has brought back memories.