Jane Goodall — Reasons for Hope

Dedicated to Susan & Bryant

How is it that this extraordinary being is destroying its only home?
–Jane Goodall

Susan, thank you for the tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall at CSU. Her question digs at the human experience. She pointed out that humans and chimps have just over 1% difference in DNA, and this allows us to construct our buildings, gather to listen to ideas, and go to the moon. Yet, we lack the wisdom to live well on our planet.

She shared the environmental degradation that she’s seen in the past 45 years, and it seems overwhelming. However, a significant portion of her presentation covered her Reasons for Hope (title of the event and a certain book).

What are those reasons, you ask?

1. The Human Brain. We must consider the effects of our little choices every day. Also, the heart as the seat of love and compassion in humans must be cultivated.

2. Resiliency of Nature. Through human effort rivers have been cleaned up (e.g., Thames & Potomac), wetlands have been cultivated, and animals have been brought back from the brink of extinction. TACARE, a program to support rural Africans, has made it possible for the jungle to retake exploited lands.

3. Youth. They have the energy and passion to change the world. For example, she highlighted the work of Roots & Shoots, a youth movement she started that focuses on the environment, animals and the human community.

4. The Indomitable Human Spirit. Nelson Mandela was given as an example of someone who could overcome hardship and emerge with a more forgiving attitude.

Again, Bryant, Charissa wouldn’t let me buy and book and have it signed for you. I’m trying!

In other news, Stephen Hawking has less hope for us, “I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.” (EarthTimes.org)

Also, if you live in northern Colorado, you can thank Susan for taking me to see Jane by supporting her endeavors with the National MS Society.

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