It is generally believed that men do not cry. It is mindset that if you cry, you are not a man. This gets reinforced by many life incidents. My father was a very soft spoken person and never cried. I have never seen him raise his voice or get angry at anyone. I had also never seen him cry. So, I also believed this belief that men don’t cry. Then, when my mother died and I was lighting her funeral pyre, I saw tears roll down my father’s eyes. I realised that crying is normal to humans.
It is a fact that all of us have emotions. Some of us express it, while others may not. My father never expressed his sadness and thereby his sorrow with others. He could neither be seen jumping around when he was overjoyed nor sulking in sorrow with tears rolling down his cheek. He preferred to keep his emotions to himself. My father has been a role model for me in my life. I always wish that I learnt to be half as patient as he was always.
Today, we try to inculcate in children not to laugh or cry aloud. It is ingrained in them as if it is bad manners. In my view, we should encourage our children to express their emotions openly. The more we laugh and cry in this world, the more we will be in balance. We will learn to share our joy and sorrow with others. We will learn to let go and also share the emotions with others.
It may be true that I have inherited this quality from my father. I have also cried only a few times in my life. But, I realised that every time I let the emotions pour out of me in the form of tear, I feel relieved. Recently my brother in law died and when his son was lighting his funeral pyre, he burst into tears. My nephew is a young lad in his early thirties and could not bear the loss of his father at such a young age. The priest halted the funeral and advised the young boy to cry aloud and let his emotions come out.
We need to learn to emote. We grow up being told not to laugh or cry. The conservative society labels young men and women who cry as not brave enough. In my view, this is not right. It is good to cry and laugh. It helps you to release your pent up emotions and let go. It may also help you to forget and forgive people if you are willing to let go off your emotions.
I was hurt by an uncle of mine during my young adulthood, when he declined to help me when I was in distress, while treating my ailing father on his death bed. I was very upset and deeply hurt by this incident. I almost stopped talking to this relative. Years passed by and while I was narrating this incident during a training programme, I burst into tears. I could not control my pent up emotions. After I regained my balance, I was willing to forgive this relative and even spoke to him later.
Emotions are an integral part of our being. We need to let it be and let it go as and when it is necessary. We may get overjoyed and we should jump in joy and share our joy with others. We may be overwhelmed with sorrow, when multiple incidents occur one after the other and we lose control. We need to share this sadness with others and cry aloud so that we can vent out our feelings.
In my view, laughing and crying should be an integral part of our living. We should laugh and cry every other day as we breath every day. It is good to laugh and equally sound to cry. Let us not be guided by age old mindsets that “Men don’t cry”. It is human to cry and we need to realise that we all are human beings. We all cry at birth and make others cry when we die. Let us also learn to cry in between birth and death.
Lets learn to cry.
S Ramesh Shankar