Ethan Metzger is the hero of the day.
This Jewish kid – I assume he’s a high school student – just defused the hatred of those around him and stood up for his parents, his religion, and his character. His poetry answers the “brainwashing” criticism of his peer by saying: Yes. I am brainwashed. Brainwashed into good morals, high expectations, and a quest for excellence. He acknowledges that his beliefs are based on his parents’ teachings – and then points out that that’s the way it should be.
A parent’s job in parenting is to teach their children the things they need to know in order to succeed in life. That includes caring for others. It includes a curiosity for learning. It includes faith – regardless of the religion, it includes a faith and hope in humanity and in something higher than you. If parents don’t teach their children that, their children will never have any reason to better themselves, and society will stagnate. These children will grow up with the idea that the meaning of life is somehow included in the rat-race for a paycheck, and become disillusioned with themselves, finding no higher purpose. In short, to fail to teach morals is to neglect your child.
Yes, Mr. Metzger, you and I and many others have been brainwashed. We’ve had our brains swept and washed and cleaned so many times, we can’t understand why some people choose to think their lives in filth, never cleaning out the cobwebs that collect from doubt, discouragement, and meaninglessness. I’m glad my parents took the time to show me the transcendent things that matter to them – and I’m glad yours did, too. ♦