Letter: Iowa needs more people with empathy

The column by Lynda Waddington on April 22 “State won’t force my daughters” touched my heart. What a shame it would be to lose a great columnist because of the heartless actions of the Republican controlled Iowa Legislature, not to mention her change of heart regarding encouraging her daughters to live in Iowa. Can’t say I blame her though, especially based on her life experience.

For some time, I’ve felt there must be something different about the genetic makeup of Republicans versus Democrats. The result of this legislative session speaks volumes about where their priorities are and it certainly does not involve women, workers, children, educators or the environment we all must live in.

Waddington’s column led me to study empathy, or more precisely, the lack of empathy and what I found explains a lot of what we see from Republicans. A study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research reports, “A lack of empathy correlates to a lack of gray matter in the cerebral cortex, specifically the left anterior insula, and further is linked to narcissistic personality disorder”.

The study continues, “This is a mental disorder in which the sufferers have an inflated sense of their own importance and a lack of empathy. They generally suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority, but have displays of arrogance and vanity.” Sound vaguely familiar?

Don’t go Lynda, Iowa needs more people with empathy, not less.

Larry Hodgden


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