The Saratoga Sun -

The why of cry


I grew up hearing that “real men don’t cry.”

What a load of crap.

Fortunately, I never heard this kind of drivel from my parents.

But parents aren’t the only influence in someone’s life.

Shedding tears helps you recognize your feelings and deal with them.

I have also read that crying helps your body regain an equilibrium by shedding toxins.

According to the article “Cry it out: 6 Surprising Health Benefits of shedding a Few Tears” found on, crying releases toxins and stress hormones. Tears also kill bacteria and improve vision. In that article, the claim is made that crying improves mood better than any antidepressant available. Crying also relieves stress and aids in communication.

Popcorn and Wet Faces

Movies often draw a tear or two.

Who didn’t cry at “Old Yeller”?

“Bambi” got me a few times, too.

An odd one that gets me every time is “Spider-Man 2”. The scene where the crowd pulls our unconscious and maskless hero into the train car and one of the people Spider-Man has just saved remarks, “He’s just a kid.”

Waterworks … and I am not particularly sure why.

But still … I feel better, if a little drained, afterward.

Death, Cruelty and Relationships

As you may be aware, I recently lost my best friend of 35 years. This caused a lot of tears and still makes me cloud up when I think about it. If you don’t get that, grow a heart.

I get losing someone being a cause for weepiness.

Another thing that never fails to get to me is cruelty to animals. Honestly I cannot watch those commercials that show beaten, misused or malnourished cats and dogs.

I have to change the channel.

As much as I just told you crying is a good thing, the fact that there are dumbasses (this term is not even remotely close to strong enough) out there that can be that inhuman and inhumane makes me just as mad at these “people” as I am sad for the animals.

Relationships are a huge sob source too. Breaking up is a heartbreaker and calls for a certain amount of bawling. But someone who knows you well can make a deeply cutting remark in a heated moment. I have both done it (unfortunately) and have had it done to me (also unfortunately). When someone hits you with a comment like that … tears come.

Too Much Stress

The biggest flat-out breakdown that comes to mind is when I moved to Saratoga well over two decades ago. I had packed my Houston home into a U-Haul after a week or so of packing.

I had not found anyone to rent that house yet and was trying to figure out how I was going to pay rent in Saratoga and a mortgage too.

Worries about my future in a completely different environment plagued me.

Many friends and a girlfriend were being left behind.

As I came close to finishing packing, I was both physically and emotionally exhausted.

I just dropped to the floor sobbing uncontrollably. My girlfriend did the right thing though and just held me until I was done.

But here I am in Saratoga and, for the most part, everything is peachy now.

But that kind of stress demands a release.

Misty Anthem

One thing that makes me misty around here is when I happen to be at a bar for a public event—football, Kentucky Derby, what have you—and the National Anthem is played.

I have only noticed this in Wyoming, but everyone in the place stands and takes off their hats as the familiar refrains sound.

The song itself serves to stir sentimental feelings in me.

I can imagine the brave souls resisting insurmountable odds and taking on an empire to make our country free.

The fact that everyone in an establishment shows that reverence is what draws tears though.

A lot of times I have to cover these events, so I find myself looking through a blurry viewfinder to try to capture the communal feeling.

No disrespect intended as I click away … that is my job sometimes. If I do get a great photo of that, I get to share the moment with you.

Unpopular, But

Still a Right

As deeply as I feel about all this … our country is free because of men and women who died for just that ideal.

What that boils down to is: we can criticize our leaders, our government or our national situation without fear of reprisal from officials.

If someone wants to sit during the Anthem to try to highlight an ideal or belief, that is a privilege that was won by patriots.

It is a right that should be respected as deeply as the reverence shown by others.

Personally, I think there are better ways to make a declaration or highlight an issue, but I don’t run everyone. It wouldn’t be good if I did. Differences of opinion and belief are one of the biggest advantages this mongrel of a country has.

“Mongrel” because of the melting pot nature of our populace—don’t even start to think that is an insult.

You are free to disagree with a protest, but you should be willing to fight for their right to make one.

If you don’t agree … just don’t support their cause.

But shunning those brave enough to stand (or kneel) to make a statement is to deny our freedom and lessen the precepts for which heroic people have laid down their lives.

That is likely enough to make me cry too.

Just Be Human

The human condition demands release occasionally.

I know it seems awkward, but if I saw a “strong” man (or anyone else for that matter) crying I would be more likely to give them a hug than anything else.

We all have our bad days and a little compassion goes a long way.

Don’t be afraid to show vulnerabilities. We all have them.

If we could all get that, the world would be a much better place.

Now that is a good thing to cry for.


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