What’s The Book About?
Mentors (How To Help and Be Helped) is a book about the mentors that have shaped Russell Brand’s life and journey to sobriety. You can see it as a follow up to his best seller, Recovery, where he wrote about his struggle with addiction and getting help through the 12 step programme. Mentors expands on the ‘getting help’ component of the programme and readers get an insight into the values and lessons, Brand’s mentors have imparted to him.
This is quite a short read (2- 3 hours at best!) but it’s a useful book to end the year on. We all need mentors and it was interesting to see the organic way Russell finds mentors and nurtures his relationship with them. At times the sentence constructions in the book are a bit convoluted but it’s nevertheless a comfortable and comforting read.
What did I love?
This book speaks to community and a form of communal nurturing that is unfortunately disintegrating in our society. I like the concept that a mentor can provide “co-ordinates” because you’re about to take a comparable journey to them. As Russell Brand puts it, mentoring is admittance to needing guidance and help once you identify the areas of your life you want to improve on.
This is a book where Brand’s personality really shines through (as always!). I love that the book allows us to get an insight into his thoughts and observations about the world, his evolution as a man through different phases and the recognition of how his mentors have contributed and continue to contribute to his journey. My biggest takeaway from the book is the importance of open-mindness and a willingness to learn when building a relationship with a mentor. I also love that Brand’s mentors come from all walks of life. From his Jiu Jitsu teacher, to his therapist, a saint in India, it was beautiful to read about him absorbing knowledge from different people with the intent of being a better person in every area of his life.
As mentioned earlier, one of Brand’s mentors is his Jiu Jitsu teacher and I’ve heard so many great things about it! Islam has a huge emphasis on physical fitness and of course, research shows the impact exercise has on our mental health and well being. I would be interested to know (for anyone doing martial arts) how it has changed your life as opposed to a different sport.
Top Three Quotes
“A mentor teaches and demonstrates.”
“You need to trust someone if you’re going to allow them to help you, and they of course need to be dealing with the truth of who you are, not the Facebook, press-release version of yourself you’ve been fobbing the world off with up till now.”
“You have the family you are born with and the family you consciously appoint.”Tweet
Guide to Book Review Rating
✯ – Meh
✯✯ – Read at your own risk
✯✯✯ – Hit and Miss
✯✯✯✯✯- Life Companion. Thank me later!