Jane Goodall was at Airship37 event space Toronto in support of the Jane Goodhall Institute of Canada. The guests were enthralled by her epic storytelling messages of hope and decades of accumulated wisdom. Here are a few excerpts from her talk.
The 81 year old guest of honour just said, “people at the back can’t see so can I get a chair to stand on?” Jane Goodall stood up on a chair and the crowd cheered. She began by saying, “can you all see me?”
“I am going to start in my usual way which is to bring into this space a voice which has never been in this space before and it’s the voice of the being that I have spent so many years of my life learning about and learning from and its the sound that you would hear if you came with me to Gamby National Park and climb up into the hills in the morning and if you are lucky you hear the sound of chimpanzees greeting the day.”
“Which means this is me this is Jane.”
For one night only, there was a feast to feed all your senses as ten of Toronto’s top chefs came together to honour the work of world-renowned, Dr. Jane Goodall. Each chef was inspired by extraordinary photographs of Canada’s landscapes and wildlife, curated by notable Canadian photographer Virginia Macdonald. The photos were auctioned in support of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. The highlight of the evening was hearing the brilliant Dr. Goodall on her ground-breaking research, pioneering work with African communities and vision for the future of conservation and the role of the next generation. All proceeds went directly to supporting the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada’s conservation and humanitarian projects to save endangered chimpanzees and help people.
Jane Goodall brought a message of hope in making choices that are aligned with making sustainable choices and leaving a smaller ecological footprint on the earth.
” I want to start off first of all by thanking all of you all for being here. It’s because you’re here that the Jane Goodall Institute in Canada can carry on with its work.” Jane Goodall at Airship37
“It’s everybody who has helped to make this evening possible, thanks to all of you.” Jane Goodall at Airship37
“I had the most amazing mother and I truly believe that it’s because of her that I’ve been able to do what I’ve done and that I am able to carry on doing what I am doing. She was supportive and that was the key thing. She supported my love of animals which I appear to be born with.” Jane Goodall at Airship37
Jane Goodall tells a story of exploring and how her mother didn’t get mad at her when she explored and experimented with nature and the natural world which would have killed all the excitement.
“Isn’t that the making of a little scientist? Curiosity, asking questions, not getting the right answer, deciding to find out for yourself, making mistakes, not giving up and learning patience. It was all there and a different kind of mother might have crushed that early fascination with scientific methods.” Jane Goodall at Airship37
“How is it possible that the most intellectual creature that has ever lived on planet earth is destroying its only home. You all know what I am talking about – deforestation leading to the desertification, the shrinking of fresh water supplies, the pollution the poisoning of earth and air and water. You understand about climate change. I imagine there is not a climate change denier in this room. I doubt it. And so what’s happened? Do you think there is a distconnect between this very very clever brain and the human heart, love and compassion.
Do you think there is a loss of wisdom where we make a decision only after asking how does this decision affect our people generations ahead? Now it’s how does it affect me now – the next political campaign, the next shareholder meeting, the bottom line, the worship of money, money, money. It was Gandhi who said the planet can provide enough for human need but not for human greed. We face the problems of poverty, unsustainable lifestyles and growing human populations.” Jane Goodall at Airship37
The dishes served by the Toronto Chefs were aligned with Jane Goodall’s message of sustainability.
“There is a big climate change conference in Paris in December. Canadian youth is going to play a big part right. They are going to be making themselves heard and felt and we are going to support them.” Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program is comprised of thousands of young people of all ages inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall to work at making the world a better place. The program builds on the legacy and vision of Dr. Jane Goodall to empower young people to create practical solutions to big challenges:
“Reason for hope is the human brain, we are creating amazing technology that will help us live in greater harmony with the natural world and in our own lives we are using our own brains to live life within ecological footprints.”
“Recently, I discovered when I was in the climate march in New York this time last year, the organizers reckoned that there would be 18 000 people and there were 400 000 people. What happened, I watched, I was there. Everybody was using their cell phones and their tablets, and their iPads and all these things that you use today and I was listening to them and talking to them they were telling all their friends to come that this was exciting it was a beautiful day and a lot of them were saying of all the movie stars that were there Dicaprio and then one of them said Jane Goodall is here. (laughter) It was the biggest gathering of human beings gathered around one single issue climate change that this world has ever seen.”
“And finally the indomitable human spirit there are people who tackle seemingly impossible projects and won’t give up. I think of Nelson Mandala.” Jane Goodall at Airship37 describing her reasons for hope.
“There is not a single person in this room, not one of you, not one of us, who doesn’t have that same indomitable spirit. We just have to let it out. We just have to believe in it. We just have to understand that there is nothing we can’t do. As my mother said, “if you really want to do it and you work hard enough and you take advantage of opportunity, you’ll never give up.” So thank you so much for all coming.” Jane Goodall at Airship37
Photography : Paul McNulty