“As with so many environmental activists, Wangari [Maathai]’s early childhood experiences were decisive. Those years in Maathai’s life gave her a feel for nature, for the interconnected-ness of life,” writes John Rosenow in his book, Living Long and Living Well. In describing the Nobel Peace Prize winner, he explained how rich early childhood experiences provided the foundation for a long and well-lived life:
“As with many people, it was a combination of Maathai’s experiences, each adding to the other, that made it possible for her to be a creative contributor increasingly year by year. Her early years directly connected to the earth’s riches, her academic instruction, her organizational experience, her trial-and-error experiences growing trees…added up more and more to the impact she was able to have. What a gift for Africa and for the world that her contributions continued for such a long period of time.”
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