Frankly, I’m a bit conflicted with this book. But damnit, Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams took the time to complete the interviews, write up the transcripts and publish this thing so I figured, okay, why not? Hope. Geez, don’t get me started. For YEARS, I’ve been writing and talking about hope as the spark that could change the world. I’ve always felt that al Qaeda missed the boat on this little idea. Unite Morocco to Pakistan with the idea of “Hope” and you will have your empire. War is a short-play in a world only survivable with a long-play.
Jane Goodall needs no introduction, at least by the likes of puny me. I managed to anger a Howler monkey once, and I made a great ape face as a kid, but that is the extent of my knowledge of primates. Heck, I can barely understand my fellow humans.
Dr. Goodall is best known for her study of chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, a global conservation, advocacy, animal welfare, research, and youth empowerment organization, including her global Roots & Shoots program. And yes, she’s done a hundred other things making the rest of us look and feel like the schlubs we actually are.
Goodall, it turns out, is a hopeful human being and has a structure around why she feels we should remain hopeful in a world that seems bent on destroying itself. Abrams and Goodall sat down in various locations around the world, recording long-form conversations that ended in “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times.”
And here is where my realism ruins the day. I do agree that hope is a key element in the survival of our species. But we must also deal with the reality that our species just might have a built in element of self-destruction and all data points to a dramatic ending. I don’t have hope our leaders will do right. I don’t have hope we can organize globally, and I don’t have hope the youth of the world can right the ship. We are at the edge of a new darkness and our headlamp batteries just died. And for this reason, this book is worth the investment. Balance, counterbalance and nails on the chalkboard of life all go well together.