Gabor talks about a gardener whose plants aren’t growing properly. The gardener asks “What’s happened that the plants aren’t growing? What do they need that they aren’t getting?” We can apply that to human beings as well.
Humans, when we’re born, aren’t like any other mammals. Horses can run the day they are born, and most other mammals can at least somewhat take care of themselves pretty quickly. But as infants, we rely totally on the adults that care for us for years after birth. If we don’t get this basic care (feeding, bathing, watching over them) we will die. And each of our brains are wired to know this, so from the day we are born, we are wired to connect and love our parents or those caring for us. This means that our basic human need for connection is as great, or greater, than our need for food, and our brains are wired to make this happen.
When, as a newborn infant, we stare into our parent’s eyes, and our parent gazes lovingly back, that connection causes chemicals in our brain, known as endorphins, to flow. Endorphins make us (and our parent or caregiver holding us) feel love and connection and happiness. It makes both of us feel good. And in our infant brain, that feeling of love and connection actually builds out brain pathways that will last a lifetime, and help us to be able to feel happiness and joy and connection.