Celebrating her 84th birthday in Chicago last month, Jane Goodall is a household name in both activist circles, animal rights, and as a stand-out primatologist. But, in 1944, WWII was in its downhill slide and little girls from Britain didn’t dream of Africa. Well, except for ten-year-old Jane Goodall, whose naturally curious and inquisitive nature drew forth a natural scientist, primatologist, activist, and student of the apes.
The subject of over 40 films, author of over 25 books for both adults and children, and recipient of over 35 medals and awards – the most recent in 2017 International Cosmos Prize, Jane Goodall is as active today as she was over 50 years ago. Still traveling 300 days a year to support her work with chimpanzees, Africa, and the environment.She’s known for a number of quotes about apes, activism, and primatology, but the one that most embodies her spirit might well be this: “Tarzan married the wrong Jane,” from her speech to Auburn alumni.
Quoting this Native American saying, "We haven't inherited this planet from our parents, but borrowed it from our children." Jane shows us our world is not a legacy to be left behind, but to be nurtured and cared for – for the generations to come.
How do you spotlight a woman of Jane Goodall’s indomitable spirit? How do you begin to lay the foundation of what she’s accomplished, the glass ceilings she’s shattered, and the lives she’s changed – both human and primate in a smattering of words. Much like that ten-year-old, you make your answers come to life, you take the time to learn from books and from others, and you pass along your own knowledge as best you can.
Are you an indomitable spirit? Then we want to hear your story – 65, 75, 85 and beyond. We want to hear stories about seniors that break the mould, like our 83-year old competitive bodybuilder and Guiness Book of World Record holder. Or our oldest athlete in the 2012 London Olympic Games, now eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as an Equestrian. Or Gloria Steinem, woman of vision, political activist, and journalist, still thriving at nearly 85.
The beautiful painting of her above is by Steve Simon
Do you know any amazing older adults that we can feature on our Blog? Let us know in the comments below.