“[Yet] our babies are starving. Oh they have plenty of food. Our children are starving for touch; they are starving for us. Our children are starving for human interaction and human relationships…We have become advanced in some ways but, at present, our culture is developmentally ignorant. We are a child illiterate culture. We think somehow that it is better for a child to learn letters and words from television than from a parent talking with their baby. We have lost our core child-rearing truths… And there is nothing more essential to a developing child than human touch, infants rarely touched can actually become ill and die.”

-Dr Bruce Perry, excerpt from the preface of Move Baby Move by Sofie Foster and Jerome Hartigan

I have heard Dr. Perry speak many times, and was blessed to participate in his trainings. I am enamored with everything he says. His research rings true on every level of my life and future endeavors. I recently read that his first wife at age 19 was murdered and the killer was never found. He is the essence of what I aspire. I hope that if such an event ever occurred to my loved ones, that I can see the pain and the unmet needs of the perpetrator’s soul, stand up for healing and resist revenge.

I once heard some leader from Chicago comment that the most successful youth organization is gangs (wish I could remember his name, I think it was an NPR story). I completely understand why. They finally find a place where they are respected, accepted, and empowered. Imagine if we could do this when brain development was most crucial, ages conception to 6 yrs old. Instead, we let media, peers, and strangers do it at vulnerable times. At times when our children need us most but our fears and own unmet needs tend to overpower, blind us, and thwart connection.

I have not read his recent book but it will be the next one I buy. You might want to check it out…

BORN FOR LOVE: Why Empathy Is Essential—and Endangered