Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jane Goodall or Madonna?



There were 2 shows in town tonight. Jane Goodall at The Centre and Madonna at GM Place. You could not find two women who are more disparate in what they represent.

I went to see Jane Goodall. It was a most inspirational night.

The moment Dr. Goodall walked onto the stage the entire audience stood and gave her a standing ovation. She hadn’t said a word. Goosebumps ran down my spine. I imagine Madonna also received a standing ovation upon her entrance. Hmmm.

When Jane began to speak the entire audience leaned forward, captivated by her stories of living among the chimpanzees in Gombe. In her soft British accent she spoke of the destruction of the habitat in Africa, as well as around the world. She said, “We have lost our wisdom… there has been a disconnect between the head and the heart.”

A disconnect. How profoundly true.

Perhaps there has been a disconnect in the values of society. When a glitzy yet ultimately shallow ‘superstar’ like Madonna draws a much larger crowd (and hence, personal riches) than an inspirational speaker whose work and love for the planet and the creatures on it are tireless, and the money she earns goes back to the planet and creatures on it … well, yes, we have lost our wisdom. There has been a disconnect.

Jane’s presentation was serious but not gloomy. She feels that when humans have their back up against the wall, as we do right now where the health of Mother Earth is concerned, we will be forced to think creatively, and we will find the means to implement those creative solutions needed to restore the planet. She says the environment is ultimately forgiving, and although it will never be the pristine planet it once was, it can be restored to a healthy place. She feels that each and every one of us can make a difference by making informed choices…ie. the food that we purchase… could we have made a better choice for the environment? She believes that if each of us continues to make more and more choices in the planet’s favour, we will turn things around. All the small things add up to make a big difference.

As she spoke I wondered what was happening at the Madonna concert. I thought about how Madonna represents nothing of value to me and how Jane Goodall represents so much. I thought about the media attention that Madonna received compared to what Jane’s visit received. Yet what will each of these women ultimately contribute to the future of mankind?

Disconnect. I couldn’t have said it better.

18 comments:

MrsE said...

This would make a wonderful article to submit to the Vancouver Sun and the Province newspapers don't you think?

Shelley Hrdlitschka said...

Interesting that you mention that, Mrs. E. I just submitted a letter to the editor of The Sun, paraphrasing this post. I was so mad that Madonna received a front page review and there was no mention anywhere in the paper of Jane Goodall. What does that say about us as a society? Not much, in my opinion.

Leslie said...

I open your blog to find not one, but two great stories to read and ponder. Thanks for the inspiring words you wrote, they give me the same kind of tingle that you got from Ms. Goodall.

Giggles said...

Laura got free tickets to see Madonna and raved at the spectacular show. I know she would have raved about Jane too! Each to their own...but I'm with you, I'd have preferred Jane Goodall. She has had loads of television time, where I've been able to enjoy her! Great post!

Hugs Sherie

Anonymous said...

I feel that you are being very judgemental and are very uninformed about Madonna and what she represents. I am not a huge fan of Madonna myself, but I have respect for a woman who has undergone as much criticism as she has and managed to stay strong and follow her dreams. Who are you to critisize the people who have found inspiration in her? Who are you to judge the woman who found courage through Madonna because like Madonna, her mother died of cancer when she was 5 years old and she had to grow up without a mom? A woman who has managed to stay off drugs unlike many of her contemporaries and keep herself together and strong. No, she is not perfect, far from it, but are any of us? There is no black and white.

Kim Denman said...

It's interesting that some readers tend to miss the point of your thoughts regarding Goodall and Madonna. Obviously Madonna has many fans but the larger question is why she's given media attention, while Goodall is ignored? It's about the balance of where we put our thought and energy. Of course we like to be entertained, but our media should respect us enough to report on those, like Goodall, who share deep wisdom.

Anonymous said...

When someone writes "Madonna represents nothing of value to me" I think the point is pretty clear.

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