I have wept in the last 9 months than any other time in my lifetime. I greeted the news that we were pregnant with our first child, approximately 15 years into our marriage with a rush of mighty tears. I welcomed our son with tears, which could drench his face. At his naming ceremony, I wept from the word, ‘go’ to the word, ‘end.’
Two days after returning from the hospital, our son will not be pacified from crying profusely as he tried to adapt to his new environment in the outer world, having spent 9 months in the cosiness of his mother’s womb. Before I knew it, I was in tears. I can hardly tell our story without tears welling up and bursting forth from my eyes.
This is not a dissertation in the defense of my tears in the last 9 months or other times. I think it is an attempt to localize the experience for the purpose of inspiring others, who might suffer what I call ‘the affliction of tears’ like me.
I think I am a man whose lacrimal glands are easily ruptured. Those who are close to me know that my tears flow easily, sometimes in the most embarrassing manner. I do not think it is my shedding of tears that is embarrassing. I think the real embarrassment, probably to most of my observers and even me is laid out in these 2 premises: first, men do not cry and if men cry, it should not be the strong man that I am often observed to be. Second, it is only an emotional wreck, someone, who has no ounce of control over his/her feelings that burst into tears more often as I do.
Well, I think I am never embarrassed to shed tears. I am not embarrassed because I think I know why my tears flow freely when they do.
I think I have a soft heart and not a weak one. My heart is easily touched by God and humanity’s act of kindness. I am a grateful heart. There is nothing in me that wants to deliberately hurt or be ungrateful to God and any finger he has used to feed me one time or the other. I once told a bossom friend and mentor, ‘I will forever reserve my right to disagree with you but I think I have lost my right to fight you.’ Secondly, I think I have a specially installed mammary gland in my heart and conscience, where the milk of compassion flows easily and endlessly. There is something in me that wants to be compassionate.
Therefore, where I see God’s goodness and humanity’s act of gratitude towards me or others, I am often overwhelmed and my tears drop of their own volition and I am reminded to be a conduit of God’s kindness to others and sacrificially too. When I see the humanity in a state, where compassion is required, my lacrimal glands give in bigly without prodding. Then I begin to think about how I can be part of the solutions to the human conditions, which draws the attention of my compassion.
Real men are grateful men. Real men are compassionate men. Shedding of tears are not necessarily the leading sign of these virtues of real men, but subjectively in my case, it is.
I am principled and it is a virtue but whatever principled position I am expected to take that offends my heart of gratitude and compassion will be over my dead body.
Are there men in the house that shed tears like I do and have you studied yourself to know why? Or are you embarrassed to the point of shutting down your lacrimal glands because real men do not cry?