• Jeffrey Zalles

You Have Taught Me So Much

Dear Grandpa,

You have been such an important part of my childhood. From my earliest days, the lessons you taught me have served as my guide to a good and proper life. When I denied taking cookies from the cookie jar, you taught me why it was wrong to lie. When I asked you to do a homework assignment that I would later hand in as my own, you taught me that cheating was wrong. When I got into an argument with a neighbor, you taught me to be kind to others, to respect their opinions even if I disagreed with them. From you I learned that all people were created equal. That looking out for those less fortunate was nothing short of divine.

I recall our walks together in the park and the times when you would bend over to pick up someone else’s litter. So often, you marveled at the beauty of nature and spoke of our responsibilities as good stewards of the Earth.

And who can forget the time we walked down the isle of the supermarket, and coming toward us was a young boy who limped and seemed to wave his arms uncontrollably? As I laughed and pointed, you got down on your knees and grabbed my shoulders with your big, strong hands. You looked sternly into my eyes and told me to never, ever make fun of someone with a disability.

And today, as I listen to you praising President Trump, you have taught me yet another lesson. Sadly, it is a lesson I would have preferred not to learn. For now, I understand the meaning of hypocrisy.