Insatiable greed is an illness I understand. I practiced neuropsychiatric medicine for 18 years and treated those who suffer terribly, simply for not getting just what they want when they want it.

Most of us struggle to overcome anger and irritation when things don’t go our way, but people with insatiable greed feel entitled to what they want. And they will never have enough.

Their childhood experiences, shared with me (their doctor), explained their suffering. Patients unable to tolerate even minimal frustration were all emotionally abandoned children. No one taught them what human parents have always taught their children. We are part of something bigger than ourselves: Something good, something we can trust but must also respect and honor.

Taking time and patience to impart this message defines us as human. We honor life, the Earth and our word; we are generous and cooperative; we care for children and people less fortunate — all because someone helped us learn to do so.

Insatiable greed currently dominates the agenda of the Republican Party. Mainers, known to reach out a hand to neighbors in need, have just learned a hard lesson about the ruthlessness of this agenda.

Controlling the national media, with unlimited funds, and with disregard for the truth, the agenda of insatiable greed is now focused on “winning” the White House.

With deep respect for a time-tested Maine tradition of not meddling with other folks’ politics, I also know Mainers read the newspapers and take seriously the obligation to vote one’s conscience. In talking with neighbors I’ve learned that, if expressed with compassion and without blame, my understanding of the misery of insatiable greed resonates with their own observations of bullies and of those with great wealth, but empty lives.

Sara Stalman, MD, Brooklin

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