School News & Blog

April 23, 2015

Russel Brand and Joy In Life

“Why is the idea that the
pursuit of self-centred happiness will lead to contentment so adhesive?
I wake up every day newly baptised into the cult of individualism. I
wish I was more like my mum or my nan, who find joy in nourishing
others”. So writes Russell Brand in his book ‘Revolution’.

statement really resonates with questions put to teachers at the school
back in the 80s and 90s by the founder Vijayadev Yogendra, challenging
them to look at their attitudes and approaches and move towards a life
based on service.

Russell Brand is quite inspiring for a number
of reasons. He writes so honestly, he has really turned his life around
and seems to be genuinely trying to walk the walk not just talk.
Though he does talk and is really engaging and entertaining.

is probably still a bit vulgar, well quite vulgar actually, in the way
he expresses himself sometimes but it is far outweighed by his
positivity and genuine desire not to be hurtful or unkind to others. I
recently watched a clip of him being asked by Jonathon Ross for his
opinion on Jeremy Clarkson’s dismissal. He basically said it was fair
cop but did it in such a way as not to sound judgmental or be critical
of Clarkson.

We recently held a teachers’ seminar for our
teachers at school, which we do at the start of each term. There was a
quote from the school’s founder on the program which read:

question we must ask ourselves is “What are we going to do now to
guarantee the next generation its happiness and progress?” No answer is
good enough unless it brings us to make sacrifices, put up with
suffering, deny things, change our whole personality and develop a new
philosophical ideal.

Strong stuff, but that is how Vijay, as he
was known, sometimes spoke in order to challenge and try and shake his
teachers out of their materialistic somnambulism, and find more meaning
and joy in life through a deeper care for their students. There is a
clear link there too with Brand’s notion of finding joy in nourishing

It would be great to have him come and talk to our
secondary students, and I am sure he could tone down his language if we
asked him nicely.