Our Reason for Hope, Is You.


What is hope? In the recent film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” a phrase is emphasized several times: “Rebellions are built on hope.” Nearly without exception, every great leader or thinker has had something to say about hope, a seemingly necessary component to achieving extraordinary accomplishments. Many of the top players in our cultural constellation weighed in on hope at some point in their speaking or writing, from Martin Luther King Jr. – “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope,” to Albert Einstein – “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Strict definitions include ideas of “trust” or “faith,” along with “wanting” or a “desire” for something to happen, but the feeling of hope is far more powerful than any one of those words could articulate. What connects these notions, in all of these expressions of hope, is the ability for the human mind to understand what is to fear, what is to be lost, and to still believe that good things may come.

Dr. Jane Goodall spends her life spreading the message of hope. She has written four books expanding upon this concept – her hope for animals, her hope for mindful eating, her hope for plants and agriculture, and her own spiritual journey: Reason For Hope, with her fifth reason being the positive possibilities and outcomes of social media. What hope is for Jane, and all of us at the Jane Goodall Institute, is that mysterious element which carries us onward when our commitment and determination are tested; it is the energy which drives us beyond doubt and insurmountable odds, helping us discover and accomplish amazing things. We know there are millions of reasons to carry and spread hope everyday of our lives, and so we asked you: what is your reason for hope?

What you shared with us was a beautiful mini-universe of what gives you all hope. We chose a few to highlight here, and think that they might instill a true sense of hope in you as we enter this new year of 2017 together, celebrating 40 years of the Jane Goodall Institute and our hopes for a better world.

Jacqui Kikuchi:My daughter grew up in Roots and Shoots and JGI. She had Dr. Jane as a mentor, she sees things in a different way and with hope. Therefore, I have hope that she is going to make the world a better place.”
April Close: “My reasons for hope are my children and my grandchildren. I hope the world will be a fit place for them to live. Right now it’s hard to maintain any hope.”
Chandra G. Reader:#MyReasonForHope is because there are way more good ones than bad.”
Laurie J. Wilson: “Knowing that there are millions of people on the case to make this world a better place.”
Debbie Foster:Dr. Jane Goodall and her devotion to conservation. Young people who care and are willing to work for the future. Scientists who stick to their guns against evil. The drive to get kids, especially girls in school. The amazing number of people who are strong and courageous and are taking a stand against greed such as those at Standing Rock.”
Susan Odell Walker: “My reason for hope is that my youngest, Merlin, is committed to studying wildlife conservation and biology so she can work to ensure the survival of endangered wolves. Our hope lies in people like her and others also following Jane Goodall’s example. #myreasonforhope

Georgina Brain: “Between the filming of planet earth 1 and 2, the number of Amur leopards doubled, bringing them background from the brink, even in the face of increased poaching, poor funding and constant challenges. It proves that even when the world goes to pot, we can and will make a difference as long as we have the will to succeed and that is #MyReasonForHope

Like , I believe in a hopeful future: is that the hardest steps have led me to the best places and people.

is a generation willing to fight for what they believe in and doesn’t tolerate impunity and greed.

– the people who teach and learn every day. Wisdom, understanding & empathy are the best bulwarks against fear & loathing.

Hope is a true universal language. With these responses, you showed us and shared with each other that a belief in the ways we can work toward a better world is alive and well. Next year, 40 years after Dr. Jane Goodall founded this organization, we will take these visions of hope and turn them into monumental action to help one another, protect our planet and all living things. We know you’ll take your hope along for the ride as we do magnificent things, together. Here’s to 40 more years and beyond of hope and change!

Keep sharing your reasons by posting on facebook, twitter or instagram tagging @janegoodallinst and #MyReasonForHope.

Click to tweet: http://ctt.ec/F0vwo
“Like @JaneGoodallInst , I believe in a hopeful future  : #MyReasonForHope is …” 

About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.