When I was younger I would cry a lot; almost any sort of physical pain or emotional trauma would bring in the tears. Growing up with a set of stern and traditionally-enforcing parents led me to fear these tears. Not because I believed what they had taught me, that crying was not something a man does, but because I felt the pressure to be something I clearly was not. I know this is something that many across the world face, to be forced into adulthood when you are not ready. When someone says that “men do not cry” I get a sense that the person saying this has some deep-rooted issue with that very saying.
I believe that to truly be a man, one must be in touch and aware of every piece of themselves. To cast out the very first aspect of life, to try to eliminate the emotion in our heart, is to make an attempt to be seen as powerful. But how can someone be truly powerful as not just a man but as a human being when you ignore the very heart and soul that drives us as humans? In my mind, a man is someone who is aware that crying is not a sign of weakness or vulnerability, but rather is a statement of joy, of love, of pain; it is the most basic form of how to express what lies within one’s heart. It is okay to cry when you are hurt, it is okay to cry at loss, to have tears of joy. It is especially okay to cry when you are young, because at that time you have yet to experience much at all. It is only with the passage of time and terror and turmoil that can lessen all of these tears. I believe a true man, any true warrior, has reached a point in their lives where they understand when they may cry and know that, through their experiences, they can channel their emotions in different ways.
To cry is to show strength, to cry is to show that you understand what you feel and need to release your emotions. To not cry is to show weakness, a lack of trust in yourself to be able to express something through tears that words cannot. I can attest that while I haven’t cried in years, perhaps a decade; I know that I have at times wanted to dearly. It is with much pain and rage and fear in my own heart that I can say with confidence that tears are necessary, crying is necessary and understanding when and why to cry is so important to becoming a full and complete human being.