i told friends i was going with my dad to Jane Goodall’s talk at the Ottawa Writer’s Festival on 12 April to “recharge my inspiration batteries”. but maybe to “add fuel to my inspiration-candle” would have been more apt.
i had the incredible privilege to meet jane at her Dar es Salaam home when i volunteered for Roots&Shoots (R&S) in 2007. one of the perks of volunteering with R&S in Dar is you stay in jane’s home. she’s only there a few days a year since she travels over 300 days of the year to share her message of hope, kindness, and the urgent need for environmental responsibility.
jane was warm and kind, but also razor-sharp, and ready to debate points. i realized she had a warm heart linked to a sharp mind, and that this was a winning combination to achieve positive change in our world. we need to care about others to motivate us to act, but we also need to be smart about how we do it, or else we won’t know the best way to help.
i came across this quote from the Buddha today:
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
and it struck me how the same goes for inspiration. over the years, jane has met and influenced thousands of people, and lit thousands of inspiration-candles.
but while people like jane inspire us, they then go off to the next talk, the next event. following them might help keep us inspired, as i feel when i go to jane’s talks. but they are best at sparking the fire, while it is our friends and family who are best at helping to nurture and sustain our precious flame.
so let’s help keep each other’s candles burning bright!