By Kayla Perry
Established author and speaker Gabor Mate spoke at LU on Feb. 7 as part of the Dr. Dan Andréae Distinguished Presidential Lecture Series on Living in Healthy Communities.
Mate is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician, best-selling author and public speaker. His published works, which include When the Body Says No; The Cost of Hidden Stress and The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction have been published world-wide in twenty languages. Mate is also a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun, and is known as an expert on a range of topics, some of which include addiction and attention deficit disorder.
Some of the topics discussed by Mate in the lecture, which was titled “Living Well in a Toxic World” included how mental stress affects the physical being, and how we are affected by living in a materialistic society.
Mate argued that the mind and the body are inseparable, and similarly the individual from the social environment cannot be separated. He also presented his theory that children whose parents are stressed are more likely to develop asthma.
“Human beings are bio cycle social creatures – this means that the biology of humans is shaped by psychological and social environment,” stated Mate in the lecture.
Mate also spoke widely on how child development is widely impacted by the time spend with their parents, and in modern society kids do not have the environment to develop correctly.
“Studies show that the optimal environment for child rearing is actually the hunter gatherer tribe,” stated Mate. “There are three reasons for this: number one is that in this tribe, children are constantly in a supporting network of adults. Number two, the parents are constantly with the children – there is no such thing as daycare. Most importantly and number three is that in a tribe, when children cry their parents pick them up, and fulfil the child’s deepest need of human connection.”
The series’ goals include enriching lives, and helping to build healthy communities.
The lecture was just over an hour long, and with sold out seats, staff had to set up extra seating in the Alumni Hall, where guests could watch a live video feed.
Mate’s lecture can be viewed at www2.laurentian.ca/lecture.