Jane Goodall: A New Kind of World

Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Photo Credit: Jeekc on Wikimedia

“I think one of the most important things for people to understand,” says Goodall, “is don’t feel helpless when you look at all the problems of the world.

Realize that if you think about the consequences of the small choices you make each day — what you buy, what you eat, where did it come from, how was it made, did it harm the environment, cruelty to animals, child slave labor — [you] make more ethical decisions.

It’s not just you. It’s more and more people around the world. In the end, it’s hundreds of millions of people making small choices, that are the right choices, that leads us to a new kind of world.”


Making A Difference


Many years ago, at the the end of the programs in each city on Amma‘s North American tour, there was an announcement that contained a story about a squirrel who contributed to the building of the Rama Setu bridge. The squirrel participated by rolling in the sand and then going to the end of the bridge and shaking the sand off, chanting the name of Lord Rama throughout the process.

Lord Rama rewarded the squirrel by picking him up and stroking his back. From then on, this type of squirrel had three stripes on its back, stripes that went from head to tail. The stripes are seen as Lord Rama’s fingers. At Amma’s programs, this story was used to teach that everything we do to contribute makes a difference.

I remember thinking that what was called a squirrel in the story must be what we call a chipmunk. Since then, I have learned that the squirrel is a palm squirrel and it the same size as a large chipmunk.

On one of the first days I was in the Saraswati garden, I heard a sound. I thought it was a bird at first, but when I followed the sound, I discovered it came from the squirrel in the picture at the top of this post. I didn’t know squirrels were so loud! Here are two more photos of that squirrel:

A few days ago, I saw another squirrel in the garden; or maybe it was the same one. I feel so privileged to have been able to watch squirrels like the one in the story I have heard so many times.



To look at previous posts in this Amritapuri series, click here.

266,000 and More to Come!


Last Saturday, twelve of our local members of the PNW GreenFriends Litter Project met at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill in Seattle.  Our goal, to pick up as many cigarette butts as we could in an hour and a half.  The Litter Project was formed in 2011.  Most of our members come from the Pacific Northwest part of the United States, but we also have members from other parts of the U.S. and around the world.

When I started picking up litter, I thought that cigarette filters were harmless cotton and often passed them by in favor of the bigger pieces of litter.  Soon I learned they were anything but harmless.  They are made from cellulose acetate tow and they can take decades to degrade. Investigators in a San Diego State University study once discovered that if you put fathead minnows and top smelt in a liter of water that also contains a single cigarette butt, half of the fish will die. Continue reading “266,000 and More to Come!”

Making a Difference- Jadav Payeng

In May, I wrote a post called They Touched My Heart.  One of the videos in that post was the story of Jadav Payeng, who at 17 started planting trees on a barren sandbar in India.   Since that time a documentary about him was produced by Will McMaster.  It is both beautiful and inspiring.  To me, Jadav’s work is a good example of the difference one person can make. Continue reading “Making a Difference- Jadav Payeng”