Brother's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Team BNE

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:

BROTHER STAVROS

Monk
New Skete Monastery

“The biggest pitfall is to let society decide what your happiness is. To be really happy, you have to be countercultural, and have the bravery to do it.”

INTERESTS:

Philosophy & Religion

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Choices Dedication Family Opportunity Societal Pressures Culture Fulfillment Fear Exploration Education Goals Transitions Pressure

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Challenging Myself Upholding a cause I believe in

TAGS:

advertising, belief system, bravery, coming of age, commitment, contentment, countercultural, eastern church, exposure, guilt, happiness, hurt, independence, monastic life, on the edge, parents, religion, self discovery, society, standing up to someone

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Came from an “ordinary” middle-class family in Washington D.C., wasn’t particularly religious, but comfortable with religion, politics.
  • Introduced to Eastern religion in college; decided he wanted to become a monk.
  • His mother tried to stop him, said he was wasting his education; he had to just shut her down, knew what he was meant to do.
  • Everyone has at least one moment of “crisis,” where you’re on the edge and have to make a choice.
  • Says commitment often comes across as, “If I have x, I can’t have y,” and that scares us, dissuades us from pursuing things.
  • Can’t let society define happiness for you, because society has an agenda, wants to “sell” you happiness.
  • Considers his life a happy life; says that doesn’t mean it’s “full of giggles,” means he’s content and at ease.
  • Says first step towards happiness is education; expose yourself to everything, find opportunities everywhere.

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