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jane goodall: lessons learned from “jane’s journey”

jane's journeyToday is Jane Goodall’s 80th birthday, and she is still making a difference. I’m re-posting this from 2011 as a tribute to this amazing woman.

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!


  1. you guys always inspire me – do you have a web link to her work”

  2. What an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing this film with us…a must-see!

  3. She is definitely an amazing woman. I have never heard of this movie, but I will check it out at some point.

  4. She is so inspiring, and I can see how she inspired you as well. An amazing woman who helps to spread awareness (in a big way) about conservation, love and protecting the species.

    I’m ready to go to Africa whenever you are.

  5. I had no idea she was that involved. Inspiring for sure! I love all of the facts and your acts.
    You are inspiring!

  6. Amazing lady! Thanks for reposting – I missed the 1st post!

  7. How inspiring! Thank you for sharing this, I had no idea!

  8. She is so amazing. I would love to meet her.

  9. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I love her message. I always admired her work with chimps and her determination to raise global awareness of their plight. Happy birthday to a great lady!

  10. i have met several famous people and celebs. but by far, the person who left the largest impression on me was Jane Goodall. She’s truly amazing. And so softspoken, but such a loud message.

  11. I would love to see this! She is an amazing person!

  12. I just can’t imagine. It’s a big calling and it takes a specific kind of person to answer it. Tremendous work.

  13. Wow, I can’t believe Jane Goodall is 80. She and Gloria Steinem. Such amazing women.

  14. Wow, Jane is certainly an inspiration to others! I love her attitude and grace!

  15. I think that Jane Goodall is an amazing woman who has made some fantastic changes in the way we all think, Thanks!

  16. I met her in person and she is so passionate for her cause. You can’t help but get caught up and want to help.

  17. What a Amazing Woman I Never Knew She Was So Involved!!

  18. Wow! I never knew any of those facts. I would love to learn more about her and her work.

  19. Jane Goodall is such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this post!

  20. I’ll have to check out the movie! I didn’t know about it! What an amazing life.

  21. This looks super educational, it is amazing!

  22. I remember learning about her as a child and becoming obsessed. She was an amazing woman

  23. This woman has done such incredible work throughout her life. It was nice to be reminded of her here in your post.

  24. She truly is impressive in all she did. I love finding inspiration in people who saw an issue and took the steps to rectify it. So many people complain about issues but do nothing to fix the situation. – Katy

  25. I really loved her when I was younger. I can’t believe she’s 80 now! wow! She’s truly amazing.

  26. Beautiful and thoughtful post…I love the quote “every single day, you make a difference. What you do has an impact. Your life matters.”

  27. Jane Goodall is such an inspiration!! Our homeschool group has participated in her Roots & Shoots program and we loved it.

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