For those that know me quite well, Russell Brand is one of my personal heroes. It’s a long story, but you can kind of find it here, in an essay I wrote three years ago. A lot has changed since then i.e., I have more people I look up to, but the sentiments remain the same.
I’ve done my best to watch closely, what Russell Brand has been up to, and I’m so proud to look up to him. For starters, his views on life have differed since he’s become a father but nonetheless, he’s remained the spiritual, fun-loving, and often self-deprecating, speaker I’ve admired. A lot of people don’t like Russell Brand, but that’s because he’s very misunderstood.
I share the same feeling because I feel like I’m still misunderstood by people. I won’t name names, but they’ll know who they are.
When we make mistakes, we are forever etched in that mistake. It doesn’t matter what steps we’ve taken to emerge ourselves out of a metaphorical abyss, redeem ourselves and try to be better people, nothing will change who we once were. By no means is this universal, however. There are some that can look at us with their head held up high and be the voice that says, “look how far you’ve come!” and even if they’re loud voices coming from a crowd of people, cheering you on, it’s the subtle whispers coming from the hecklers that will clog up our eardrums.
In the case of Russell Brand, it’s his addiction, his films (where Brand playfully admits he plays a thinly veiled version of himself with a hat) and his marriage/divorce from Katy Perry. Since then, he’s become a father. He’s married. And he’s in school doing his Master’s!
In a similar fashion, I too have turned myself around. I’m in school, I’m working, and have a lot of things going for me alhamdullillah. However, in the places where I would like to be taken seriously, I’m not. And it’s because I am still remembered for my past. I’m still young. Even though a lot of time has passed and I’ve done things they’ve unfortunately been unable to witness, I’m still naïve. I digress.
Ultimately, Brand shows in his new Netflix special, Re:Birth that things happen so instantly and life can be altered without us noticing. Nonetheless, we can still look back at our past and learn and ultimately, revive ourselves from whatever is figuratively killing us inside. In the end, all we can do is laugh and move on instead of wondering how we got to where we are now and dwelling dreadfully on the past. Through all of his jokes about being a father, criticizing media, and self-deprecation, there is a hidden message of love for life, his daughter, and hope that things in our tumultuous times will get better, and that his daughter can grow up “to be as strange as she wants to be.”
For me, it’s not only been a hilarious and eloquent form of stand-up comedy. It’s been a profound piece of advice that’s undoubtedly reawakened my admiration for Russell Brand and his way to forgive himself. And in the end, I’ve got to do that for myself.
Written on the 6th of December, 2018 at 9:50 P.M.