10 Jane Goodall Quotes That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Jane Goodall's wise words about peace, evolution, and nature will warm your heart and enlighten your mind.

june 2015 great minds jane goodallTracy Turnbull for Reader's Digest1. If I were a bird that needs feathers to fly higher, my mother would be my strongest feather. She was extremely supportive. When I was one and a half, I took a whole handful of earthworms to bed with me. My mother said very quietly, “Jane, they will die if they leave the earth.” And so, together, we put them back into the garden.    Source: an interview with April Xiaoyi Xu

2. I went to an empty henhouse [when I was four and a half], hid in the 
straw at the back, and waited, and the family had no idea where I was … My mother sees this excited little girl rushing toward the house all covered in straw. Instead of getting mad at me, which would’ve killed the excitement, she saw my shining eyes and sat down to hear this wonderful story of how a hen lays an egg.    Source: achievement.org

3. One of my best days was when I … offered [chimp David Greybeard] fruit on my outstretched hand, and he turned his head away. I put my 
hand closer—and he took the fruit, dropped it, and gently squeezed my hand, which is a chimp reassurance gesture … We communicated 
perfectly in a language that predates words.     Source: New Scientist

4. I love dogs, not chimps. Some chimps are nice, and some are horrid. I don’t actually think of them as animals any more than I think of us as animals, although both of us are.    Source: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

5. Trees are living beings. And they have their own personalities … There are the young, eager saplings, all striving with each other … If you put your cheek against one of those, you almost sense the sap rising and the energy.     Source: NPR

6. Sometimes I [longed to be a chimp] … I just wanted to know … what it felt like in the evening to be making a nest and what it felt like to be a female when a big male comes thundering in.     Source: Discover

7. The first time I saw adult chimpanzees in these five-by-five-foot cages … tears began to trickle down under my mask, and [JoJo, a chimp,] just reached out this gentle finger and wiped them away … And then the veterinarian came. He knelt down beside me and put his arm around me. He said, “I have to face this every day.”    Source: achievement.org

8. I like to envision the whole world as a jigsaw puzzle … If you look at the whole picture, it is overwhelming and terrifying, but if you work on your little part of the jigsaw and know that people all over the world are working on their little bits, that’s what will give you hope.    Source: safarious.com

9. Some people say … that violence and war are inevitable. I say rubbish: Our brains are fully capable of controlling instinctive behavior. We’re not very good at it, though, are we?    Source: Sierra

10. You may not believe in evolution, and that’s all right. How we humans came to be the way we are is far less important than how we should act now to get out of the mess we have made for ourselves.    Source: Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest