“If we return to the usual way of life, as it was before the pandemic, then we will deprive our descendants of the future.” Anthropologist and UN Peace Ambassador Jane Goodall’s Rules of Leadership
Photo: Damian Dovarganes / nationalpost.com
Jane Goodall is a British ethologist and anthropologist, United Nations Peace Ambassador and primatologist. She is considered the founder of the original method of studying the life of a chimpanzee. For more than 60 years, Goodall devoted herself to observing the life of primates, often being away from home for 300 days a year.
She became famous in 1965, when a photo of a fragile blonde appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine, and the film Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees created by the US National Geographic Society was released.
Thanks to her discoveries, Jane Goodall managed to “humanize” the chimpanzee in our eyes. Her works are of great value for mankind, not only in terms of understanding the nature of chimpanzees, but also in understanding the place and role of man in this world.
“TOO WHITE MONKEY”
A year ago, speaking at the CogX conference, Jane Goodall addressed the youth. “You don’t have to strive to be the next Bill Gates,” she said, and the room fell silent. “In this difficult and complex world, the most important value is to do what you love, and the desire for resounding success can lead a person away from the most important mission of his life.
Success is getting the career you want, getting the job you want, getting the life you want,” the well-known anthropologist is sure.
She herself began life very measuredly – she worked as a waitress, studied at secretary courses and did not plan to link her fate with science. But at one moment she remembered her childhood dream and, having saved up money for a ticket, taking with her a plush monkey, presented by her father, flew to Tanzania. There, under the guidance of renowned anthropologist Louis Leakey, Jane Goodall would explore the life and habits of chimpanzees, animals loved since childhood.
The period of time given to us to correct mistakes is getting shorter, and there is less and less reason for hope.
Anthropological talent would allow Jane Goodall to make important discoveries and receive a doctorate from the University of Cambridge without a day’s study. Even today she is considered one of the world’s best specialists in our closest relatives. After all, the DNA of humans and chimpanzees matches 98.6%.
In the same movie Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees we see cute scenes in which a girl plays with cubs of large primates, feeds them from a bottle. But behind the scenes it is difficult to see the titanic work to establish minimal contact with these animals in difficult conditions. After all, in order to simply be able to be in the field of view of the chimps, and they did not express aggression, did not attack, Goodall needed a year of work.
The anthropologist learned to distinguish sounds made by chimpanzees, to understand words and gestures for intraspecific communication. And then she completely established contact with the leaders. Primates, most likely, stopped mistaking her for a predator, and settled on the image of an unusual, too white long-legged monkey.
“They have every aspect of human nature,” Jane Goodall wrote with gusto in her first book, In the Shadow of Man, published in 1971.
Surprisingly, the book is still relevant and is considered a classic of popular science literature. It has been translated into 48 languages and reprinted numerous times.
LEARN FROM CHIMPANS
Why is Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees considered one of the world’s greatest scientific achievements? She discovered the ability of monkeys to invent tools and use them. Until that time, it was believed that only a person was capable of such a thing.
A researcher who was let closer by chimpanzees once observed one of them sticking suitable sticks through holes in a termite mound to get them with termites stuck in a tree. “It didn’t just use objects as tools. It modified them to make tools out of them, and this is a colossal step forward,” Goodall shared her discovery.
She discovered that chimpanzees have personality, intelligence, emotions, and the ability to solve problems. They love and support, express sentiments, and are also capable of unleashing a long, exhausting war against their own relatives, whom they previously looked after. Thanks to Goodall, the gap between humans and animals has been greatly reduced.
People should feel the power to change the world for the better
“Among the things I learned from chimpanzees was the importance of early experience in the development of our own children,” said Jane Goodall.
The 88-year-old anthropologist has raised several generations of scientists and written dozens of books, but she is still active: she continues to work towards the preservation of the environment in developing countries, opens sanctuaries and reserves.
Jane Goodall’s main task today is to unite humanity to create an ecological economy. To this end, the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program now operates in 100 countries, through which students learn how to protect and restore wildlife.
“If we go back to the way we were before the pandemic, we will deprive our descendants of a future,” Jane Goodall recently said. “I sincerely hope that we will all come together to create a green economy system and we will not have to witness another pandemic. After all, COVID-19 is the result of our disrespectful attitude towards the environment and animals.”