"….reduce a grown man to tears.."
The other morning, half-listening to a radio commentator through an early morning brain mist, I heard them say that something was enough to, “reduce a grown man to tears”.
I was suddenly wide awake, thanks to just 6 words that implicitly sum up so much of what, in my view, is wrong with our society.
I began to write an enraged rant about the glorification of self-serving heartlessness and the damage done to mental health by the suppression of emotion, but luckily stepped away from the keyboard for a while to let my rage against the phrase settle, and compassion for the victims, for those “grown men”, to take its place. And so…
Dear grown men in my life who cry,
To me, you are not reduced by your tears.
The grown men who cry are those whom I love and admire the most.
You are the brave ones, who do not seek to avoid by constantly resorting to banter, to violence or to silence.
You face the truth of your emotions and embrace the learning that it brings.
You are not reduced to tears.
You are elevated by your depth of feeling, your sense of justice, your compassion and empathy.
You allow yourself to feel wonder, joy and pain, and to express that feeling, and because of that your steep learning journey through life continues, like that of a small child. We cry because we feel, and when we shut down feeling we shut down learning and development. It’s no coincidence that the crying years are the years in which we humans learn the most.
When you notice the miracle of emotion made visible; water coming from your eyes and pouring down your face, perhaps you also allow yourself to pause and reflect; reflect on what just happened and the feelings within you that have fed this salty stream.
To the men who have the courage to cry, thank you. Your courage liberates you and all of us from the oppressive constraints of patriarchal repression. Your tears release you from the shackles of society’s narrow definition of “manhood”, your tears release us all from the impact on yourself and us of your repressed emotion.
When you allow yourself to be inspired by people and events to the point of expressing genuine emotion, then you remain open to all the wonders of this world and the people in it.
BTW, I searched for images of men crying. The first thing that came up was “tough men crying”. I can’t even begin to write about THAT…
Please feel free to add your own replacements for those 6 words here, let’s start a movement to elevate the lachrymose male.
Kay Scorah is a gifted facilitator and MEA guest faculty member. She’s based in London and, while she doesn’t love labels, any of these could apply: artist, poet, thinker, dancer, spiritual teacher, and successful businesswoman.