Goodall plants hope in Tucson

By David Mendez

Some were encouraged. Some called it inspiring. One likened it to “meeting Ghandi.”

More than anything else, the consensus of Jane Goodall’s lecture at Northwest Campus on April 28 was that there is reason to have hope for the world.

Hope was the chief theme of Goodall’s lecture, beginning with the weather.

The lecture, after all, was scheduled to be held outdoors. More than a few second-guesses were heard throughout the crowd, wondering why the college would choose to hold an event outdoors in mid-afternoon in late April.

Goodall alluded to the setting, mention her earlier prayers for clouds.

“As you can see, there are a few scattered out there, so I did what I could for you all,” she joked.

Goodall’s lecture also touched on themes of encouragement, and the effect it can have on the lives of young people. She also alluded to it when talking about her fledgling career, and later when discussing the Jane Goodall Foundation’s Roots and Shoots program.

Roots and Shoots, according to Goodall, is an organization that encourages youth, as well as people of all ages, to find ways to help animals, the environment and the human community.

The organization presses the idea that, like a seed whose shoots can break through brick walls, a young, properly nurtured movement can break through the problems of the world.

World problems that Goodall listed included deforestation, overpopulation and unsustainable living.

“If we’re the most technologically intellectual species, how are we destroying the only planet we’ve got?” Goodall asked. “We have compromised the future of our young people.”

At the close of her lecture, Goodall revealed her reason for hope: the indomitable human spirit.

“There are thousands, millions of social problems,” she said. “But I haven’t heard of a problem without a group of passionate, dedicated people, fighting for justice.”

Goodall then asked the audience questions.

“Can we save the planet? Is it too late? Will we do something to help this planet survive into the future?”

Their answers alone were reason enough to have hope for the future.

Photo by Ciro Mennella

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