If we were publishing a visual dictionary, we know what we would put beside the word, "trusting." It would be the picture of a young child. Nothing is more important to infants and toddlers than relationships with nurturing, loving people, both inside and outside the family. In fact, that is how they define the world and what it has to offer.
The headline read: "Our children will be the first generation in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents." It was one of those stories that should have grabbed every reader and shaken them. It was the journalistic equivalent of cold water in the face of every person who thinks that the future only holds promise and progress for his or her children. It was also a call to arms for those of us who care about our community.
There is nothing quite so magical as watching toddlers explore their world. There are times when it almost seems that we can hear their brains whirring as they learn new things, they investigate their environment, and they seek to understand the world around them. And yet, as magical as this is, one thing is certain: there are no magic answers to making it happen.
In numerous ways every day, with your help, we search for just the right words to engage more of the public and to make them understand the importance of brain development for the future of our children - and our community. What would our youngest children want us to say that everyone will hear and remember? Four words: Touch, Talk, Read, Play.
All cities are working hard to answer challenges that face them, but the trick is to make sure the right questions are asked in the first place. The brain development of our youngest children in Memphis must be a top priority for our local agenda. We now have the conclusive scientific results to guide us and the in-depth knowledge to inform us, but to succeed, we need to mobilize a communitywide sense of urgency to give every child a fair start in life through maximum brain development.