How wonderful that you came for a visit! You are one of hundreds to do this, all in the name of Jane Goodall , whose name triggers either a person’s memory or their deep need to understand what makes this iconic woman tick. It is obvious from all of the visits to this blog via searches for Jane Goodall that we need more people like her in our world.
Is Jane Goodall still the number 1 leading voice of the need for more human integrity regarding our natural world? More compassionate and visionary voices are needed to drown out the superficial soundbites of popular culture; voices that remind us of what is really at stake with the daily choices we make. Jane Goodall reminds us that ONE person CAN really make a difference! We are ALL that ONE PERSON! Who are you and what do you stand for? I am so curious to know who you are and where your current inquisitiveness about Jane Goodall comes from!
As I enjoy ‘nature walks’ with my 2 1/2 year old grandson Hudson, watching him explore the tiniest living insects, animals and plants wherever we go, I am reminded of where this nature appreciation developed for me. Jane and I both have our work centered around a healthier future for our children and our planet. Much of my work today has been influenced by my childhood exposure to this wonderful woman and her work. For me, it starts with parents because a parent is the strongest influence in a child’s life, in a child’s value system. Jane Goodall, among others gives me inspiration to continue the immense job of advocating and educating in the name of a better future for our children and our planet, no matter how old I become.
Jane Goodall’s name triggers years of rich, interesting photos and stories I soaked up as a child from my mother’s vast National Geographic collection. I used to dream of what it would be like to live the life of Jane Goodall. In my young impressionable mind, to live with the wild with animals was the ultimate. This young woman was living a dream. But who are the modern environmental heroes that young people today dream of emulating?
In her youth, Jane Goodall taught us about our commonality with the natural world and its inabitants. She introduced us to the humanity of the animal kingdom and developed our compassion for chimpanzees and other animals through years of tireless work and patient study. She touched people of every age and continues to do this today.
In 2009 a lifetime of memories about Jane Goodall’s work came flooding forth in a breathless moment as I was walking through the 2009 Women’s Conference in Long Beach. There she was. The icon, the legend, petite and lithe, graceful and calm. She was being taped during an interview for the conference. A small croud of fans surrounded her, I among them.
Feeling like a child, I waited for the moment, opened my journal, and quickly asked her if she could sign my journal so I could share this moment with my children and grandchildren. She quietly obliged, looking at me a little strangely as if she was thinking, “What does this have to do with anything?” I thanked her and stepped back, making room for others as I could see this window of opportunity was brief. Her ‘peeps’ were getting ready to hurry her off to another important affair.
I never know what to say to famous people I admire! In hindsight, I always have a better response; the one I replay in my mind over and over, as if I will ever have a second chance. Not every famous person leaves me speechless, only those I hold a reverence for, like Jane Goodall! So, this time, instead of dithering about what I should write to her, I will do something different.
Jane’s acceptance speech at the 2009 Minerva Awards this year was the closing speech of the Women’s Conference and well worth every single word. She brilliantly formulated a message that spontaneously included the other winners, her life, and our future as a human race. It was intimate, powerful, inspiring! As a member of Toastmasters International, I am aware of the elements of an exceptional speech.
Jane Goodall is an incredible speaker, a revolutionary leader, a doer and advocate for the natural world. To honor her work and support her latest project Roots and Shoots, I encourage you to check out: http://www.rootsandshoots.org/ and invite others to do the same. As an inspired young person that literally changed the world’s view of the chimpanzee, Jane Goodall understands the power of youth, especially when it is combined with meaning and inspiration. Now, in her later years she is effectively empowering this generation of youth to be an integral part of the solution. Jane Goodall is synonymous with “change agent.” She knows like so many other memorable leaders, that when we understand our mission on the planet, our work is never done; nor do we every tire of doing it!
If you are a young person, as I was when I first learned about her work, I encourage you to find a way to work with this phenomenol spirit or someone as passionate as Jane is. People like Jane Goodall are rare jewels. You are also invited you to listen to the eloquence of her timeless message. She expresses something we will all benefit from hearing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QlAC5llsOg&feature=channel
Thank you Jane Goodall! I will continue to follow your inspirational leadership and willingness to break through barriers, educate the masses, and to be an effective part of the global solutions we need.
NEWS FLASH: Since writing this post, a new children’s book has just been published on Jane Goodall’s life. It is beautifully illustrated and effectively, yet simply captures the life of this amazing earth servant: Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps (Written & Illustrated by Jeanette Winter: 2011, Random House).