August McLaughlin! Congratulations on organizing this fabulous blogfest for the fifth year! Kudos to you and everyone participating.
As I continue to age … and I’m so glad I do … I become more aware of the years ahead of me and the possibilities that exist. I also find myself seeking mentors older than I am, ahem … 70, who will provide inspiration and motivation so I never stop being a possibilitarian. Through the past 10 years, this has been my philosophy.
Age is not a barrier to following your dreams, beginning new adventures, helping others, setting goals, making a difference with your words and actions. Push aside negative images and stereotypes. Love yourself and let others know you love them.
The BOAW blogfest is a good opportunity for me to break away from my writing to spend some time thinking about unrelated topics. I love checking in on all the other contributors to enjoy their posts and learn from what they are sharing.
In considering women over 80 and 90 who influence the world through writing, art, photography, politics, and a multitude of other endeavours, it was encouraging to realize just how many there are. A book could be written!
Longer life expectancy is trending all over the world. Statistics show women in developed countries are likely to become octogenarians, with life expectancy reaching an all-time high of 81.8 years in 2013, up from 77.9 in 1990.
This year I want to honour the gracious global activist Dr. Jane Goodall, 82, a beautiful woman on the inside and out. She continues to travel the world sharing her wisdom and inspiring others of all ages.
Here is her Wikipedia description: “British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots program, and she has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. She has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project since its founding in 1996.”
I recently listened to a commencement address Dr. Goodall delivered at the University of Redlands in California. She spoke about knowing at the age of 10 that she wanted to go to Africa and study animals. She counsels to never give up on a dream, to know it may be more difficult because you are a girl/woman, to be strong in your goal and to, in her words, “live to your true potential”. Her mother was a strong influence and support in her achieving her dream. Be that.
I could write pages about this accomplished woman, but nothing would be more effective than you taking 20 minutes to listen to this moving, intelligent and inspiring video by clicking this link. I hope you find the time do to so. Her talk begins at 6:53 on the video.
If nothing else from this post, please take these words of Dr. Goodall’s with you.
“Every single one of us makes an impact on the planet every single day, and we get to choose what sort of impact that is,” she said.
“Respect”, says Goodall, “is the solution.”
“We may have different colored skin, we may be from different cultures, we may eat different things and wear different clothes, but wherever you go in the world: If you cry, your tears are the same. If you’re happy, you laugh, and the laughter around the world is the same. … Within each one of us all around the world, the human heart is structured the same.”
I’ll leave you with this heartwarming video of Dr. Goodall and a chimp they were releasing into the wild, from two years ago. It’s quite remarkable.
Celebrate beauty every day!
If you have participated, please leave your link in the comments below. I can’t wait to spend time reading your posts.
Were you familiar with Dr. Goodall before this?