I’m no advocate of the mantra that real men don’t cry. I’ve got emotional when reading great literature in front of classes, over the past 30 years and when real events overwhelm me and others.
It’s good for boys and men to cry.
It really is.
Bottling up emotions when you’re 11, 31, 51 or 71 is such a bad practice to adopt but one perhaps engrained in our subconscious from childhood.
Parents calling boys a girl if they cry and even in adulthood, the phrases man flu and man up is used to indicate behaviour that is not becoming of a creature flouting a penis and testicles.
When you reach an emotional nadir though, crying is actually a perfectly normal response and is actually beneficial.
I remember witnessing at seven the death of my maternal grandmother on Boxing Day and the hysteria and emotion from my mother, father and grandfather still resonates 45 years on. She was ill and had been brought down to the living room, bed and all, to be near a heat source, the open fire and after Boxing Day dinner, she had a heart attack and died in front of the six of us.
That memory will never leave me, just as the octanes of emotion that were evident in that living room.
I saw men cry for the first time in my life and it stuck with me.
A man crying is still though a relatively rare phenomenon.
I remember vividly the last time I properly cried in September 2015. I was in shock, I was grieving, because part of me felt like it had died. I cried in front of senior colleagues and instead of being comforted was ushered back to carry on teaching.
Very odd behaviour by leaders, but it helped me.
Their callous actions made me completely reevaluate my life, my career and my lifestyle and those twats probably did me a big favour.
Once lost, I found myself.
So please dear fellow men, if you feel like crying, cry. There’s no shame in it, publicly or privately. It is an emotional and physical release and you will feel better after a good cry, trust me.
Crying is a basic human instinct.