Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jane Goodall & Brushing Teeth

That speck at center stage is Jane Goodall!
Had an interesting date night last Friday with Hubby and my Mom.  We'd heard primatologist and conservationist, Jane Goodall,would be speaking at Barnhill Arena at the University of Arkansas and couldn't resist.  My dad had heard her back in the sixties at Western Michigan University and thus chose to stay home.

I wasn't sure what to expect.  Ms. Goodall has fascinated me forever, but Barnhill's a mighty big place.  It was a rainy and cold night.  What if no one came?  I would be mortified on behalf of my alma mater.  Ha!  As is with most of my worries, this one was unneeded as the place was filled to the rafters with people who genuinely seem to "get it".  By that, I mean people who care about animals and our environment and the "golden rule".

I'm hardly the poster child for our planet.  I loathe washing all of our trash for recycling and am incapable of brushing my teeth without running water.  I don't use my own cloth bags for groceries, but Hubby did convince me to switch to those fancy new low energy light bulbs.  When I hear about what's happening in the rain forests, it's depressing.  And so I choose not to think about it.

Ms. Goodall made me rethink a lot of things.  Small in stature and extremely soft-spoken, she somehow managed to clobber me over the head with uncomfortable, not popular ideals that should've maybe even angered me, but instead called me to action.

Much better photo courtesy of:
As I sat in the arena where I'd accepted my high school diploma nearly twenty years earlier, she unwittingly forced me to assess a lot in my life--not just where I truly stand on environmental issues, but other more personal areas, as well.  In the anonymity of that crowd, I was able to give myself a report card and came up with a solid C.  I do all right in most areas, but have the potential to do so much better.

Three-quarters of the way through the lecture, I received a highly upsetting call.  Hubby and I had made plans to be out of town for the rest of that weekend, but instead went home.  The call acted as an emotional bungee cord, snapping me back to what I know is the most important part of my life--family.

But back to the environment, whereas I have been cursing the City of Tulsa's exhausting new trash rules, I now see them a little differently.  Ms. Goodall made a simple request for all of our families--do better.  If not for ourselves, for our children and their children.  Our families.

And so lately, I've been faithfully washing jars and plastic take-out containers and tin cans.  It really doesn't take that long.  As for brushing without hearing running water?  I'm working on it . . .   :-)