A fortnight ago, a small group of my team from different cultures and faiths had the honour of meeting with Dr. Jane Goodall in Wellington for half an hour. Her purpose for coming to New Zealand is to officially launch the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots and Shoots here and it is combined with her current global tour.
For all of us, it was an intimate encounter, an opportunity for us to engage with an amazing energetic, enigmatic, down to earth but fearless and passionate activist who for 300 days of the year travels the world raising issues from deforestation and climate change to the protection of chimpanzees and how the youth are who she wants to inspire the most.
After our encounter, we were invited to her address at the public talk among 3000 other Wellingtonians. Jane continuously brings up the fact that it is not too late to save the planet and how each one of us makes a difference and how each one of us has the responsibility and duty to do something about what we see in the world. She has hope and you can see it in her eyes.
The evening experience was breath-taking, heart-warming and something each of us will take away and remember for a very long time.
I end this blog post with a reflection by one of my group who really does sum up how we all felt:
“There must be tons of ways to describe who she is, her life's work, passion, achievements and inspirational global work. But the best description of her I have heard is a lady gracefully and purposefully following through her life's work with kindness, humbleness, humour and most of all as she says it herself, with hope.
It's like a very unique brand of sophistication that is timeless ..”