Friday, March 29, 2013

Pursuit of dreams

Recently I heard an interview with Jane Goodall, the British primatologist and anthropologist who has extensively studied chimpanzees in Tanzania. Now nearly 79 years of age, she continues to lecture widely on conservation and animal welfare. She has quite an amazing story and continues to have incredible energy for the work to which she's devoted her life.

When asked how she first came to be interested in Africa and in chimpanzees, she said it was after reading Tarzan books when she was quite young. But here's what struck me most as she talked about the interest growing within her as a child: She credits her mother for helping develop that interest, both in the continent of Africa and in the animals she's spent a lifetime studying. Her mother encouraged her and supported Goodall in ways that were quite amazing at the time. How many mothers in the 1950s wouldhave encouraged their 20-something daughters to go to an African country alone? Without that encouragement, Goodall doubts whether she would have done what she has.

I have heard similar stories many times before. Often someone else has encouraged pursuit of a dream or a passion.

Who do you have the opportunity to encourage? Your own child? A grandchild, niece or nephew? Or perhaps someone in your church or community? Maybe you need to encourage yourself to follow your passion and pursue something that's incredibly fascinating to you. Don't hold back. You and I need all the encouragement and support we can get! And others need it from us, too.

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