My 9-year-old and I were equally mesmerized by 76+ year-old Jane Goodall on Thursday night! Before a packed McCaw Hall Dr. Jane Goodall imparted wisdom about our planet, her love of animals, and the great positive influence of her mother. Her reflections on her being born caring about animals drew tears from many as she shared her own amazement at the mother she was blessed with. When did her love of animals seem clear? At age 1.5 she had taken a slew of earthworms to bed. Rather than a mother's shrill reaction or condemnation over worms in bed, her mother ensured her that the worms' lives would be shortened in Jane's bed. Instead, she suggested that together they could take the worms to a dirt bed, and protect them.
Jane's mother's early encouragement and support of Jane's wonder of animals and the planet encouraged Jane her whole life. When did she first dream of Africa? At age 10, she fell hopelessly in love with the idea of Africa while reading Tarzan (no TV those days) and was jealous of "that other stupid wimpy Jane." But Tarzan is what set her into dreaming about Africa. She travels 300 days a year and advocates for social change of the highest order.
She reminded us at the end that "we don't inherit the planet from our parents, we borrow it from our children. We've been stealing from them for years, and we need to pay back now!"
Roots and Shoots, the global humanitarian and environmental youth program of the Jane Goodall Institute, is in 120 countries with 16000 active groups!
--Publisher Alayne Sulkin