Thursday, October 6, 2011

Words of wisdom from Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, the primate biologist, chimpanzee expert, and conservation biologist was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post.  She shares a lot of wisdom, amongst it this gem:

What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?

If you meet someone who disagrees with you -- has a different opinion -- the most important thing is to listen carefully to what they say, and keep an open mind. And maybe you’ll find that you say, "well gosh, I never thought of it like that. Maybe they do have a point there." When I was 26 I got a job at the London Zoo with a documentary film unit. When I got back from Africa after my first trip, there was a press conference at the London Zoo. My zookeeper friends said, "Jane, now you can talk about all these horrible conditions at the zoo." But then, by pure chance, I had dinner with a very wise man who had spent a lot of time in Africa. When I told him about this, I was met with a very long silence. He said, "Jane, why are you doing that?" And I said, "I want to help the chimps." And he said, "You do realize that the head of the London Zoological Society is a very famous and very wealthy man…do you really think he’s going to let you, a young woman without a degree, prove him wrong? You will make an enemy for life." So I said, "What do you think I should do?" And he said, "Just tell me the few things you think would make a difference." So I did, and in a few weeks those changes had been made.

Read more at the Huffington Post interview.

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