Thursday, September 10, 2009
Meeting Dr. Jane
If you want to know all of the details of what Jane Goodall said in her lecture, you can check it out on the Georgetown website. The audience absolutely adored her, and she spoke with wisdom, grace, compassion, inspiration,...(The list goes on.) Her messages of peace and conservation, of humility and compassion, were, in my opinion, in tune with the ethos of Georgetown University, something we should all remember.
However, you can watch her (Mr. H, peace dove, and all) at the link above. What you can't watch is the student reception.
A group of us from the EcoAction board were able to attend the student reception for the lecture. Also at the event were contingents from GW and American as well as students from the Center for the Environment and Lecture Fund.
Dr. Jane (as those around her seem to call her) befittingly requested that the receptions be vegetarian. Her work with animals has inspired a love and compassion for them, and the reception should follow suit. We were able to indulge in an array of hummus dips (regular, black bean, and one other) with toasted pita corners, a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, and much more. I know I ate too much afterward, but it was all healthful food, so I don't have to feel too guilty.
After lots of mingling among the students, Dr. Jane finally walked in. When she entered the room, a silence fell over the room. All noise stopped. Tripti accurately described her entrance as "regal." She had an air of serenity and wisdom in the way she carried herself and, as we soon found out, in the way she spoke with us.
It was a bit intimidating to speak with Jane Goodall (that's right, THE Jane Goodall) when she finally got to our group while doing rounds. However, she was very welcoming; in the moments of silence around her, one feels that she is contemplative and compassionate. We spoke with her about the connection of business and law to social responsibility and of her work with youth from across the globe. She emphasized her message of an inspirational environmentalism. When speaking with students, she would often encounter many who had become depressed or indifferent, feeling that their future had been compromised by those before them. However, she seeks to inspire today's youth to take action in their communities, finding the steps (whether big or small) that can benefit people, animals, and the environment. She encouraged us to stay positive, stay focused, and stay active.
I had not had the opportunity to buy her book at that point (I did so just before the lecture), but I was able to get her to sign the back of a Roots & Shoots flyer that I later pasted into the book.
I have not yet read her book, but I am looking forward to doing so soon; the lecture gives a taste of the stories in her book--of the hope for the future that she sees around her. The only surefire way to lose a fight is to give up.