When I was a 10-year-old I had 2 idols, both of them strong independent women. First one was Mother Theresa – I’m sure I still have an essay I did on her somewhere. Second one, Jane Goodall. And she’s the one I will be talking about now.
My love for Jane Goodall began with my love for monkeys. You know that every kid has their favourite animal? Mine was The Monkey, monkeys, as many as possible, as big as possible. I had a huge stuffed monkey. A perfect big buddy to lean against while reading books about monkeys and Africa. I remember a book about Tippi, a girl who grew up in the African wilderness. I was so jealous of her.
My dream as a kid was to live between the monkeys and study them, like Jane Goodall. The closest I ever came to that, was walking between the monkeys in a zoo in the Netherlands. I was so happy that day – also because one of the monkeys pooped on my brother. Do you see that dorky smile on my face?
Once I went to high school I quickly realised I had to be the good at biology to follow my dream. So I gave up… Biology wasn’t my strength, so my dream stayed a dream. Little did I know Jane Goodall had no formal training or undergraduate degree in biology.
Over the years that dream had to battle with reality, but it is still there and I’m sure one day I will work with monkeys, capturing their life, following researchers or making a documentary. Meeting Jane Goodall in her habitat would be even better. She just blows my mind away with her endless strength and hope – and she is 80! Her fight for monkeys and our planet is just impressive.
Especially her video at the end of last year went straight to my heart. I hope you find 5 minutes in your day to watch it.
If there is anything I would like to share with this article is that we all realise how important our planet is. How we need to fight for it and how we need to treasure our wildlife and don’t take anything for granted. And that we need way more people like Jane Goodall, who fight for our planet.
As Leonardo DiCaprio said it so nicely at the Oscars:
Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. […] Let us not take this planet for granted.