I’m back on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop site, where I was named Humor Writer of the Month in January 2014, with a personal essay about “My Hot and Cold Marriage.”Read All Entries
jane goodall: lessons learned from “jane’s journey”
My friend, Susan, and I went to see Jane Goodall Live last week, which featured the must-see documentary, Jane’s Journey. We were so inspired by the whole evening, it’s amazing we’re not writing this from Africa right now.
Here are some of the facts that surprised me, and how I’m going to act now that I know them:
Fact: In 1986, Jane attended a four-day conference for conservationists, and left as an activist. She realized that after everything she had learned from 25 years of researching and living among the chimpanzees in Africa, it was now more important to take care of them than study them. At the age of 77, she currently spends 300 days a year on the road, traveling all around the world to spread her message.
Act: I’m not going to be just an observer – I’m going to take action. And I’m going to focus on the solutions, not the problems. And I’m going to help save the primates she loves so much just by clicking here every day. Bookmark the link as a favorite — all you have to do is click for free, and a donation is made to the Jane Goodall Institute by generous corporate sponsors. How easy is that!
Fact: Jane asks, “If we’re the most intelligent creatures ever to walk the planet, why are we destroying that planet?” She reminds us that we haven’t borrowed the Earth from our children – we have stolen it from them, and it’s time for us all to walk with a “lighter ecological footprint.”
Act: Susan elbowed me to write down “lighter ecological footprint” so she could explain to her husband why their next car should be a Prius rather than an Audi.
Fact: According to Jane, “every single day, you make a difference. What you do has an impact. Your life matters.”
Act: I’m going to live, as Oprah also stresses, with intention. I’m going to remember that our choices have consequences, and I’m going to take responsibility for them.
Fact: The essence of what Jane has gathered in her travels is the fact that we’re all individuals, with our own talents and ways to contribute to our society.
Act: I will feature more personal stories in the future. As people become individuals to each other rather than numbers or statistics, the world becomes smaller and more connected, and we start to feel a vested interest in taking care of each other.
Fact: Jane believes her most important mission is to give hope. One of her admirers compares her to a candle lighting other candles.
Act: I will continue to showcase women like Jane Goodall to inspire others to take action, and to create a domino effect in which we all act like candles.
Fact: I want to be as dynamic, tireless and gracious at 77 as Jane is!
Act: I’m trying hard to be as dynamic, tireless and gracious now, at 52, as she is in her seventies!