87 years young, Jane Goodall is a legendary animal activist, best known for her work that began in the 1960’s with chimpanzees. Her work, including 30 published books and at the non-profit Jane Goodall Institute has had a very powerful and positive influence on the welfare of all animals and habitat preservation. Jane can be seen on the cover of Time magazine, announcing her new book, which she co-authored, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times
Below is a letter penned by Jane to a group that I belong to. It is a letter of hope and inspiration, which we all truly need right now.
Thank you for being part of the movement to heal our lives and our planet. Both are critically important, and the work you do is at its very foundation.
I'm writing today because we are going through dark times. Violence, hatred, discrimination, the pandemic, environmental destruction, and climate change all threaten our future.
Ever since I began traveling around the world in 1986 to raise awareness about the harms we humans have created, socially and environmentally, I have met so many people who have lost hope for the future. Probably the question I am asked more often than any other is: Do you honestly believe there is hope for our world? For the future of our children and grandchildren?
And I am able to answer truthfully yes.
What is this "hope" that I still believe in, that keeps me motivated to carry on, fighting the good fight? What do I really mean by "hope"?
Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I'm not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.
I have four main reasons for hope for the future of our world: The Amazing Human Intellect, The Resilience of Nature, The Power of Young People, and the Indomitable Human Spirit.
Hope is nothing less than a crucial survival trait that has sustained our species since the time of our Stone Age ancestors. Certainly, my own improbable journey would have been impossible had I lacked hope.
Hope is contagious. Your actions will inspire others. Thank you and thanks to all your community members for all that you are doing to make a difference. The cumulative effect of thousands of ethical actions can help to save and improve our world for future generations.
It is my sincere desire that you will find solace in a time of anguish, direction in a time of uncertainty, and courage in a time of fear. I want to invite you to join me in a journey toward hope and to working toward finding solutions to the problems that threaten our world.
Together, we can do so much. And I believe we have barely begun to discover what humans are truly capable of, when we become engaged, when we work together, and when we take constructive action to build a world that is worthy of the dreams of our children.
With love, and with hope,
May you and your loved ones be healthy, happy and joyful!