Jane Goodall: Reason for Hope

Last Friday night I dimmed the lights, grabbed my blanket and settled into to an hour with Jane Goodall. The DVD is called Reason for Hope A Spiritual Journey, narrated by Harrison Ford it allows us to see this woman beyond her career.

For those who may have been living on another planet and don't know who Jane Goodall is, she is a primatologist who dedicated her life to improving our understanding of apes and chimpanzees. The significance of her research and findings are too numerous to mention, but we now know how close we really are. Especially as it pertains to communication, behaviours and establishment of family connections. Shockingly, we saw through her video documentation, that dominance and anger can result in extreme acts of violence not previously thought to exist in their communities but certainly well documented in human evolution. This served in some ways to frame the context of hope. In observing chimps and apes making tools, hunting and caring for their family, the world was brought to a whole new understanding of these magnificent animals.

This PBS video followed her in Tanzania, Paris, San Francisco and England. Jane lives out of her small suitcase these days as she has made it her mission to bring the message of conservation to the masses. With the fast and furious devastation of forests normally inhabited by the apes, chimpanzees and many other creatures and insects, Jane's priority switched from research to spokeswoman for protection. Her hope, to spark the passion of the next generation to see the value, take on the responsibility and be stewards of our precious lands and animals.

This glimpse of her life went beyond just following her around and listening to a recounting of life and experiences, it was a transformational video for me. We were invited to see this woman in her world, uninhibited, completely open, speaking about beliefs and going beyond the science she has dedicated her life too. She exposed herself so that we could see her spiritual side and connection to Gombe in Tanzania.  In one poignant piece in the documentary Jane shares a profound moment in her past, a moment of pure clarity when nothing else existed; she was one with her surroundings in a way few will ever experience. Jane's exploration of the human condition and the need to remain hopeful in a world that often wants to teach us otherwise is not only fascinating but inspiring. I came away cleansed.

In an upcoming post I will explain further what happened after the show had ended and what I learned about myself. I encourage everyone who is reading this to watch the DVD. You will have an opportunity to  travel to places you have never seen before, hear the words of one of the greatest women of our time and come away possibly with a starting point for your own spiritual journey.

the Jane Goodall Institute

Jane Goodall: Reason for Hope A Spiritual Journey

(If you buy from PBS you are supporting public broadcasting which makes this even more special)