She is a tiny woman, yet larger than life. Robbie told our friends her story later:
“When she was 4, she wanted to know where the egg came from in the chicken. She followed one chicken into her coop and she was pecked away. She found an empty coop and went inside and waited…for 4 hours! But she got her answer about where eggs came from. Her parents were very worried, they even called the police! But her mom listened to her story and helped her to understand more about animals.”
I thought about what an amazing mother Dr. Goodall had, and how important it is to do our best to listen to when our children are excited about something. Dr. Goodall said it was the single most formative part of her youth, it was then that she realized that all she wanted was to be with animals and watch them for the rest of her life. Her mother could have punished her and would have been right to set boundaries in one way, the world is difficult and not safe. Yet, she listened to the brightness of her child and did not make it a big deal.
Dr. Goodall reminded us how important it is to do our best to support our children’s curiousity and their pull to learn and see in what is most natural for them. Very often our own agenda’s of achievement and ideas of success take over and get in the way of a child’s natural expression.
She left us with these words:
“Many people feel the world is hopeless right now, they are saddened by the environmental changes, the sea rising and the animals dying. But I see the world in hope, and I see it through you children. If there’s something you want to do, even if they laugh and tell you “no you can’t”…work hard and take advantage of every opportunity.
Don’t give up, there’s always a way forward. People w disabilities, environment, animals…we all can find a way.
Every single one of you, everyone of us has the same indomitable spirit. You are wonderful. Don’t forget this. You can do it.”
She left us with a chimpanzee greeting that gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes.
For me as a parent, it was what I needed to hear. Much of the education I am giving my son is contrary to the norm. Yet, the land calls us, he is curious and so am I. We are learning by observing and taking it in. And we are grateful to have witnessed the beauty of Jane Goodall who through her example of observation and curiosity gave us the encouragement to continue.
Namaste friends. Be well and follow your heart.