Philipe Gudin is the charismatic Managing Director of Le Rosey, one of the worlds top schools located in Switzerland.
We are honored to have his replies to our 2 questions:
What Brings You Happiness?
I believe in pleasures rather than happiness. Small and not very original pleasures: an uninterrupted sequence of green traffic lights in Geneva, a merited miniskirt, a Méo Camuzet red Burgundy, family reunions, friends around a table.
Less common pleasures: a fabulous Barber of Seville at Covent Garden, reading Bouvier’s L’Usage du monde beneath a catamaran sail in the Mediterranean. Professional pleasures: an architect who turns your dream into a design; the Rosey community sharing emotions together, a lost child who finds his way and succeeds beyond all expectations. Unmentionable pleasures, which, by definition, cannot appear here.
Personal pleasures: I prefer to give than to receive, to decide quickly rather than to weigh the pros and cons, to act rather than to give orders. Selfish pleasures: I savour the disappointment of the beaten sporting opponent and I love jumping the queue. Philosophical pleasures: being truly oneself, being in love with life. And why not the pleasures of hating television, “virtual friends” and Facebook, meanness, untidiness, stupidity, racists and other fascists, taking holiday photos and growing old.
What Would You Change (If You Could) To Make Our World
A Better Place?
A dreadful question which sends us back to our failings of heart and mind to our deadly and selfish ambitions, to our greed for power and money, to our contempt for our neighbour and the planet, to our short-term vision.
My vocation is to want a better world for today and tomorrow. No educator can avoid the question: “Have I successfully passed on values which will change the lives of my pupils?”
Since 1880, the principle of Le Rosey has been to enrich the lives of children from across the world by bringing them together so as to learn from their differences of race, culture, religion, mindset and lifestyle: from this crucible of respect for difference comes the catalyst for civilization’s victory over barbarism. If parents and educators have a vision of their mission, they will be more demanding than forgiving, more strict than understanding; they will love their children so as to bring them up – that is to make them adults and not to cuddle them like teddy bears and keep them as children.
To stop spoiling one’s children so as to spoil oneself is to choose altruism, and the only key to a better world.