View the 6-page document as a .pdf file.

We seek to make the world a better place. No matter our profession or vocation, we share the desire — and the ability — to make a difference in a child's life.

Humans are complex creatures. While having the capacity to be humane, we also have the capacity to be cruel. Why? What determines whether a child grows up to be compassionate, thoughtful, and productive? Or, impulsive, aggressive, hateful, and non-productive? Is it genetic?

Likely not. Human beings become a reflection of the world in which they develop. If that world is safe, predictable, and characterized by relationally and cognitively enriched opportunities, the child can grow to be self-regulating, thoughtful, and a productive member of family, community, and society. In contrast, if the developing child's world is chaotic, threatening, and devoid of kind words and supportive relationships, a child may become impulsive, aggressive, inattentive, and have difficulties with relationships. That child may require special educational services, mental health or even criminal justice intervention.

The challenge for us is to help each child reach his or her potential to be humane. To better understand how, we must appreciate the remarkable malleability of our species and the unique role played by the human brain.

The Margaret McCain Lecture Series

This is the inaugural lecture in this series, created as our tribute to Margaret Norrie McCain and her dedication to children's issues. Proceeds go you our Upstream Endowment fund. For more information, and to learn about up-coming lectures, see the Margaret McCain Lecture Series home page.

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