Nature versus Nurture – or Both!

As a child psychiatrist specializing in children with prenatal alcohol exposure – many of whom have been adopted from foster care, I was struck by the number of basic human needs this innocent little boy wrote for his Christmas list. It seems strikingly similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:  food/clothing/shelter; safety and security; love, belonging and connection to community; self-actualization/self-esteem (meaning and purpose); and finally, enlightenment.

Like the boy whose biological father and step-monster chained him intermittently for three months in a 2’x2’ bathroom closet (, the fact that children are forced into such deprived and inhumane circumstances is a human rights issue of the highest priority.

Our great nation has helped cure nearly every communicable disease on the planet and many rare and deadly cancers. Surely we can all agree on how to fix the #childwelfare crisis and end the cycle of #abuse.

After all, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.