Advice

Jane Goodall: ‘Remember to Live to Your True Human Potential’

April 26, 2016

Watch Jane Goodall's University of Redlands commencement speech

In her 2016 commencement address at the University of Redlands, scientist and animal-rights activist Jane Goodall told graduates to remember how connected the world is—and that one person has the potential to make great change.

“Every single one of us makes an impact on the planet every single day, and we get to choose what sort of impact that is,” she said.

Goodall went on to explain that she hopes the younger generation will recognize the effects of their behavior: “Just remember, we’re part of this amazing animal kingdom. Other animals like us can feel happy or sad. Other animals like us can suffer—mentally as well as physically. And just give pause to think about the abuse that we encounter as we travel around. But It’s not only that we abuse other animals: We also abuse other human beings. And we also abuse mother nature.”

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Respect, says Goodall, is the solution. “We may have different colored skin, we may be from different cultures, we may eat different things and wear different clothes, but wherever you go in the world: If you cry, your tears are the same. If you’re happy, you laugh, and the laughter around the world is the same. … Within each one of us all around the world, the human heart is structured the same.”

Watch the full speech above.

Watch more 2016 commencement speeches:

Anne-Marie Slaughter: ‘Care Is as Important as Career’

Barack Obama: ‘Passion Is Vital, But You’ve Got to Have a Strategy’

Condoleezza Rice to Grads: ‘Don’t Let Anyone Else Define Your Passion’

Cory Booker to Grads: ‘Tell Your Truth’

Darren Walker to Grads: ‘Stand For Something’

Earl Lewis: ‘Never Confuse The Attainement of an Education with What It Means to Be Educated’

Eboo Patel to Wake Forest Grads: ‘The Only Shame Is in Stagnation’

Hoda Kotb: ‘You’re the Sum Total of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With’

J.K. Simmons to Grads: ‘Live in the Moment’

Jill Bolte Taylor: ‘We Have the Power to Choose Who We Want to Be’

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Grads: ‘Your Stories Are Essential’

Madeleine Albright: ‘Everyone Must Participate in Solving Shared Problems’

Michael Bloomberg: ‘An Open Mind Is the Most Valuable Asset You Can Possess’

Michelle Obama to Grads: ‘Excellence Is the Most Powerful Answer You Can Give’

Obama to Grads: Building Walls Is ‘A Betrayal of Who We Are’

Russell Wilson: ‘Go Make It Happen’

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Finding Gratitude and Appreciation Is Key to Resilience’

Vivek Murthy: ‘Live a Connected Life’

William Foege to Grads: ‘Every Day We Edit Our Obituaries’