He related to everyone and everything as if they were mature adults. As this was pretty much impossible, he was fairly unsuccessful. Not everything, after all, is a mature adult. Dogs and cats, for example, to say nothing of children, or for that matter cars. Cars, especially.

He wanted to have rational, and as much as possible non-emotional, discourse with the world around him. So with precocious (which it goes without saying and is a totally different story altogether) children, he did quite alright, at least until the child decided that he was tired of being grown-up after all and just wanted his blankie. Cars that worked, too, were no problem, but don’t get me started on that. Dogs that could shake hands and keep their opinions to themselves were okay in his book, but otherwise not much good having around. You couldn’t very well have a chat with Rover about the situation in the Middle East or even the state of the Dodgers’ pitching staff.

That ability to at least temporarily put oneself into the mind of another that we call empathy was, to put it shortly, decidedly lacking.

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