Total Education Blog

Russel Brand and Joy In Life

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"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'.

This 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.

He 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:

The 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 others.

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.

Recent Posts