Crying in the final analysis is a release mechanism whether it be the result of pain, disappointment, emotional distress, or even joy.
Men historically aren’t supposed to cry, and when another man does it can be a little unsettling, as men we may become confused and not know how to react – different story for us when it’s a woman or a child.
The exception may be when a woman cries out of joy, I admit I’m still a little bewildered by that but won’t hesitate to comfort.
The manner in which individuals respond to events are varied, as diverse I suppose as people are, but I believe women are more attuned in many instances and more emotionally sensitive – ultimately a good thing, a part of the balance.
It’s both difficult and humbling to see tears flowing from a grandfather’s eyes when learning that the Army Corp of Engineers is withholding a permit for ETP to continue, understandable though being aware of his age and what he has experienced in his lifetime.
At the same time an emotional moment to witness a grandmother gently wipe the tears from his eyes and realize that it’s alright for a man, any man, especially one of grandfathers stature to succumb to the release of tears.
Some things are difficult to overcome, this sense of “real” men don’t cry, that “warriors” are stoic and capable of enduring without flinching, without batting an eye or displaying emotions.
I think it’s important for men to be strong, to stiffen in the face of adversity – I also believe that is an expectation of families and women.
And while I believe myself to be a strong person in the face of adversity I have never claimed to be anything other than a human being, one of the people.
I shed enough tears at an early age that led me to adopt a personal vow that it would never happen again, in hindsight adopting such a position was shortsighted as we never know what the next day will bring, whether it be pain, disappointment, or joy.
I don’t believe I’ll ever be a person who cries easily – traits we’ve acquired in life aren’t always easy to overcome, but life is or should be an ongoing learning process and I’ve come to understand there are more things I need to learn than I thought there were.
And grandfather? Never stood taller in my eyes then when coming to realize the depth of his love for the nations, the love for his grandchildren whose inheritance is the future – this is a man, a real man in every sense of the word.