Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Show Alert: The Kindness Diaries

I admit. Being a working mom is a difficult gig.

My day begins at 5 AM because I like spending a little time in the morning playing with my son before I take off for the 8 AM train to get me to my 9AM - 6PM job. Since I work in the city, my commute is quite long, 45 minutes on a good day (which is rare nowadays since the LIRR keeps messing my schedule up). I get home at 7 PM and my evening shift begins with a quick shower, dinner (both for myself and Mikey) then playtime, bath time and bed time for him. This is a routine that I have mastered since I came back to my job after maternity leave. My schedule is pretty exhausting.

Having said that, I have become so consumed with my own schedule that I tend to be pre-occupied with just the life that I live ever since Mikey's came to the picture. He is my number 1 priority.

Yesterday, I was lined up at Dunkin Donut for my regular coffee and there was a man who asked me if I had spare change so he can buy breakfast. Without batting an eyelash, I immediately said, "no, I am sorry" and felt horrible about it. I used to be better at being generous when I had more time and am better rested. Now, quiet moments like waiting in line is such a luxury that I don't even want to engage with another human being.

A few minutes after I rejected this man, this wonderful samaritan bought him a donut without him having to ask her. Which left me to think, 'damn, I wish I did that.'

I love being able to help those who need it and it probably would have made me feel even better to have helped that man but my heart has become cold in the process of being exhausted.

That evening, right before I went to bed, I put on Netflix (my husband, baby and I can't sleep without any background noise) and I discovered this new show called, "The Kindness Diaries". The show's concept is about a man, Leon Logothetis (a.k.a. my hero), traveling the world with only his vintage motorbike, relying on the kindness of strangers for food and accommodations as he goes on his mission. Unbeknownst to the good samaritans he encounters, he repays them back in unexpected ways.

Photo grabbed from Leon Logothetis

I watched 2 episodes last night and am hooked. Two grand takeaways from the show:

1. It restored my faith in humanity.

Sadly, there has been a lot of negativity in the US. With the shaky political climate, the culture of divisiveness (racial, gender, income inequality and so much more), it's HARD to stop and smell the roses. That's why when I stumbled upon this show that had a simple premise of spreading kindness, I was immediately intrigued. It did not offer something that's out of the ordinary. It's nothing new. But, it offered a perspective that has been pushed aside because everyone is so focused on problems. I needed to see the show to remind me that there's some good out there and it all starts from within.

2. Those who have less give the most.

This is already something that I know. I came from the Philippines where there is a big income inequality. I've gone to immersion trips in provinces where houses do not even have proper bathrooms or lighting but guess what? During my trips, these are the same people who offered me their only bed to sleep in at night. The one bed that their entire family of 5 share to lay their heads. You will never see a rich person give up their master bed room for a stranger. And you know why they are so kind? It's because they rely on the kindness of others to get by as well. You get what you give. Now, if we can only practice kindness as a way of living then maybe the world will be a better place.

So, for those, like me, who feel jaded living their every day routine, I strongly encourage you to go on Netflix and watch The Kindness Diaries.
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