New Entry Qualifications for Political Life: Empathy & Dialog

It is time we require our politicians to qualify for public service in ways that effectively serve the cause of safe, healthy, equitable and diverse societies existing in an interdependent world and shared ecosphere. The following are qualifications that I deem essential.


Empathy: Without empathy there is no way forward for civilization. Individuals who lack empathy are trapped in selfish motivations and ego fixations: they have not learned how to see themselves in the predicament of others. Politicians who lack empathy relate to others through a primitive in-group inclusion or out-group exclusion. This degree of psychological development cannot negotiate any form of middle ground. Conviction is reduced to simplistic binary codes such as “You are either with us or against us.”


 by James O’Dea