Highlights from the Happiness and Its Causes conference - 16th June : Jane Goodall

Published on June 18, 2011

The highlight of the day for me was the presentation by Dr. Jane Goodall one of the leading primatologists in the world.  Jane Goodall told us that without a doubt the chimpanzees she has observed and worked with experience emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger and rage.  She also told of the happiest experience in her work with them. Once she was following an old chimp through the dense jungle.  The chimp got ahead of her and when she caught up with him she was out of breath and a bit fearful and so offered the chimp some food.  The old chimp brushed the food aside but let his fingers gently grasp the hand of the Jane Goodall; such grasping is how chimps re-assure each other and the old chimp was reassuring Jane that he was her friend and she was safe.  This story shows that chimps not only have emotions but can empathize! 

As a result of her deep understanding of chimpanzees Dr. Goodall is a strong advocate for protecting their habitat.  She also is dedicated to helping mankind deal with its various challenges such as global pollution and other environmental challenges.  I was most impressed not only with her knowledge and dedication but by her personal qualities of humility and love for life and living beings both human and animal.


Category(s):Empathy

Written by:

Brian Scott

Dr. Scott is a clinical psychologist based in Singapore with three decades of counseling and psychotherapy experience in helping adults with many kinds of psychological difficulties. These include anxiety, depression, addictions (cybersex, love), and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adult ADHD).

Brian Scott belongs to Scott Psychological Centre in Singapore

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