In Literature Appetizer, Ben gives you just a taste of a book. Not meant to replace the full meal, this is meant to whet your appetite. Bon appetit!
Our world is in pain. From deforestation to wars, the needless killing of life is widespread. The more I personally learn about this pain, the more reason I have to give up hope. But Jane Goodall sees it differently. Despite the pain, despite the challenge, she sees four specifics reasons why we should still have hope.
In her autobiography Reason for Hope, Dr. Goodall takes us through a lifetime of wisdom. From the forests of Africa to New York City, she shares about her own personal struggle and joys with following the hopeful path. If you are feeling burnt out from work, the news, or anything, this is a fantastic read to keep hope.
But this isn't some "feel-good/self-help" sort of book. Dr. Goodall shows us how we behave by giving examples of the chimpanzees she knew so well (and still does). At first she only observed them behaving in family systems. Grooming, some squabbles but overall communally helping one another. Once the group got so large, a section of them traveled south to form another community.
The depiction above is one of the meetings of the northern group killing one from the south. Jane had seen them all be one unit: all working together to survive. The southern chimp was not acting in any aggressive way; it was just not in the group anymore. Therefore, it had to die.
Dr. Goodall describes this as cultural speciation. Basically, once groups get large enough subgroups start to form and the "they are not us" mentally causes us to want them dead. She equated it to both the Holecaust and the events of and following 911: all were attacks because the other was different.
But the amazing thing about humans is that we "have the ability to override our genetic heritage" (pg 144). Yes, life does fight but it also works together. We can strive in our everyday to work with our surroundings while unlearning the cultural speciation that separates us.
Again, this is definately a read for those who want to do something about the pain in this world. Thank you Dr. Goodall for your words, wisdom, and acts that have made this world a better place.