Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Passion • Perseverance • Prosperity

I could not help but wonder what was going through everyone's mind awaiting to hear Dr. Jane Goodall speak. Why were they here? What motivated them to come out to hear her? What did they want to hear, or expect to hear? Who were all these people? What did they do for a living? The lines were endless, wrapping around the hedges and side walls of the buildings at Rollins College. I was there at 3:30pm, and the first in line. Why was I there? The anticipation did not make the wait seem long at all, I have never been star struck... don't really fancy anyone that much, except for my father... and then he gives me a healthy does of reality and has many times told me he will not be around for eternity. Anyway, so she started speaking and through out her talk, the underlying message was actually nothing out of the ordinary. She spoke about her start, and first time in Gombe, and she had 6 months within with to make it happen or there went her opportunity... the pressure she was under, why was she there, what was she looking for? Her mother accompanied her for the first four months, and every day, Dr. Jane would return home in the evening after spending the whole day in the field, feeling like she had yet not seen what she needed to to be able to buy more time in Gombe. See, she had received funding for the first 6 months she was there, but as one quickly realizes when you are working with animals, where they are not confined or restricted by size of the land, or mankind... you are on their time, and there maybe days when you may not even get to see a black hairy glimpse run by. After days, weeks and months of field work, and the time nearing when her mum had to return back to England, she would tell her mum... I am not seeing anything or finding anything valuable. Meanwhile, she was, but it was not that one big moment that would pay big for her to do what she believed in. Her mother sat with her, and reminded her, she saw the chimps eat, she saw them climb trees, she saw them fight, she saw them play, she heard then communicate, she learned the operated in ranks, and so much more... her mother told, "you are learning all of this... and its part of it." The time arrived and her mother had to leave back to England, Dr. Jane still had two months there. She did not know what fate had for her, but she embraced every day, every opportunity, every moment, and she was doing something she was so passionate about... what did it matter if she saw that big moment today, tomorrow or 10 years from that day... as long as she found a way to continue doing what she so strongly believed in and worried not at all about how she was going to make it happen financially. Here she said, in todays world, "money is our God." And, so she continued... and just a few days later she witnessed something incredible... one of the moments that has led to her legend... she saw an adult Chimp using a stick to pull out termites from a termite hill, and a baby Chimp using stones to break open nuts. The use of a tool. So she immediately went home to tell Louis Leakey (the person responsible for initiating Jane Goodall's long field study with Chimps) that she captured this moment... she said "I could not even believe my own eyes." Up until this moment, humans had long distinguished themselves to be apart and so different from the animal kingdom because of our ability to make tools and use tools for survival. We were "Man the Toolmaker." In her discussion with Louis Leakey upon this discovery he said to her "We must now redefine man, redefine tool, or accept Chimpanzees as humans!" She emphasized again, that her it was her passion, cultivated by the support of her mother, that led to opportunities. However, if it was not for her perseverance, she would not be prosperous in her findings. The lesson to be learned here was, that our society forces us to be individuals driven by the opportunities money can buy us... so our priorities are focused around our desire for a certain amount of money, before we are able to create the opportunities for ourselves. This disconnection occurs when the brain and hand are not hand in hand... and we don't follow our passion. We you are not driven by something you are not passionate about, you can not persevere at it, "like the 200 year old English Oak Tree, that shatters its roots from the bottom of the seed with its roots, and the roots dig deep, beyond, through and around any obstacle it may come across, and the shoot, the stalk of the tree, breaks through the soil, and over time, it will knock down any wall to grow bigger and stronger..." its passion then perseverance that leads to prosperity... and then theirs no stopping.

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