Some individuals have a particularly hard time mastering this pivotal first commandment of healthy character formation. And most often, the reason for that involves their impaired capacity for empathy.
Having proper care and concern for others is essential to a sound character.
Perhaps there’s no more urgent question needing answering in our age of more rampant character disturbance than how we can better foster empathy development in our children.
Psychopaths are the most extremely disordered characters on the spectrum of character disturbance, and are the most ardent and skilled manipulators. And they lie for many hard to understand reasons, and sometimes they lie for reasons that don’t seem to make any sense at all. That’s just one feature of their makeup that led early researchers to conjecture that psychopathy is really a form of insanity. But psychopaths are, for the most part, in their right mind. And when you look more deeply, there’s actually method to their apparent madness.
Most of us can’t simply turn our human sensitivities. While we might utilize certain “defense mechanism” to assuage a certain amount of guilt when we commit a minor transgression, we can’t simply divorce ourselves of all emotion and caring. But psychopaths can.