Today is Dame Jane Goodall’s 79th birthday.
As a little girl I remember growing up and following her in National Geographic and on television documentaries. If ever there was a woman I admire it would be Jane Goodall, a woman who has dedicated her life to animal rights, global peace and what is best in mankind. A world-renowned pioneer and recognized as the world foremost expert on chimpanzees with 45 years of research, she is also a UN Messenger for Peace. As a child, Jane had a toy monkey given to her by her mother and dreamed of living in the jungle and writing about the animals she loved so much.
Undaunted as a young woman, she set off for Tanzania to pursue her dream of living like Tarzan and Dr Doolittle. Several months after her arrival she met Louis Leakey, the famed anthropologist and paleontologist who was passionate about studying wild chimpanzees in an attempt to uncover the link between them and the evolutionary past of humans. Impressed by Gooddall’s patience and interest he invited her to collaborate on studies. Her research unveiled profound scientific insights and discoveries and also showed compelling similarities between chimpanzees and humans.
In honor of her life, here are some of her most inspirational quotes.
ON FOLLOWING YOUR DREAM AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD
- People said, “Jane, forget about this nonsense with Africa. Dream about things you can achieve.” ~Jane Goodall
- “A sense of calm came over me. More and more often I found myself thinking, “This is where I belong. This is what I came into this world to do.” ~Jane Goodall
- “And always I have this feeling–which may not be true at all–that I am being used as a messenger.” ~Jane Goodall
- “If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.” ~Jane Goodall
ON MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD ~ YOU COUNT
- “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”~Jane Goodall
- “We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place–or not to bother” ~Jane Goodall
- “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” ~Jane Goodall
- “I think the best evenings are when we have messages, things that make us think, but we can also laugh and enjoy each others’ company.” ~Jane Goodall
ON FAITH, TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER AND OUR HOME AND SPEAKING OUT FOR OTHERS WHO CANNOT DO IT FOR THEMSELVES
- “The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” ~Jane Goodall
- “I don’t have any idea of who or what God is. But I do believe in some great spiritual power. I feel it particularly when I’m out in nature. It’s just something that’s bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is. I feel it. And it’s enough for me.” ~Jane Goodall
- “In chimpanzee society, we find many, many examples of compassion, precursors to love and true altruism.”~Jane Goodall
- “Here we are, arguably the most intelligent being that’s ever walked planet Earth, with this extraordinary brain … and yet we’re destroying the only home we have.” ~Jane Goodall
Happy Birthday, Jane!