The greatest gift we can give to someone is nurturing and unconditional love. It creates a bond that withstands even the most difficult challenges in life. There is now research that demonstrates that early maternal nurturing and love creates a bond in the child that serves them well throughout life and actually results in changes in the brain. According to Dr. Joan Luby from the University of Washington in St. Louis, Missouri, the hippocampus area of the brain has been found to be up to 10% larger in children who were loved and nurtured early in life. Since the hippocampus stores memories with emotional ties it just makes sense that early memories of love and adoration serves a person well for the rest of their lives. As they mature into adulthood somewhere in the back recesses of their minds they remember the feeling of being totally accepted and loved and know they are worthy of the same feeling in later life. They may be more discerning as they evaluate future possible relationships. They have memories that help them recognize true feelings of love and acceptance. It seems to me then that early bonding helps create a more positive sense of self. A willingness to seek rather than settle until that special moment when that feeling of unconditional love and acceptance once again appears in their life.
In educational research the importance of having at least one person in a child’s life that loves them unconditionally has long been recognized to be the most important factor a child brings with them to school. It often means the difference between success or struggle.
Once again, we see that unconditional love is the greatest thing we can give to another human being.
A new book just published entitled, ‘Unforgettable” and written by Scott Simon from NPR demonstrates this concept beautifully. As he sat by his mother’s beside for a few days as she was dying he began tweeting his thoughts. Over 1.2 million Twitter followers lived through this journey of his beloved mothers’ last days with him. He expanded upon those original tweets to create this book. Rather than being a sad, depressing read it is a celebration of a life between mother and son that is beauty beyond words. It continually resonates with laughter, shared memories and life lessons. You live through the challenges of this mother trying to keep a roof over her son’s head, making sure he had enough to eat by passing on the food herself. Yet always, always making light of the circumstance at hand so as not to burden him with worry. She becomes a real person – someone you would like to know. A person you just know you would have some laughs with as you discuss the latest absurdity of life.
The son, ahh yes, then there is the son – Scott Simon – he stands above the crowd with his unconditional love and devotion for his mother. His book is more than a memoir or tribute to a her. His words help us experience the emotions of a life well lived and remembered. They create a beautifully soft envelop of love that surrounds you as you turn each page and ultimately leave you with a feeling of gratitude for having been privileged enough to walk a mile in his shoes.
Have a great few days!