a piece of my mind

The Tear I Wouldn’t shed

1.   I fell down and it hurt. I had scratched my palm, bruised my knee with dirt all over my shirt. I stood there now, in pain, tears beginning to well up my eyes. Few more tears to break the threshold, but then I heard it, “you are a strong boy, and boys do not cry, man up”. The 4 foot tall kid that I was, tried to control the downpour from my eyes. It has been 2 decades since then  and today I come to think of it. Why the stereotype that a boy should not cry and why the prejudice that if one cries it’s got to be a girl? There is no effeminate or masculine crying.

2.   I consider myself an educated human being and I believe myself to be devoid of any prejudice. But when I read a 6th grade book today, I realised that though I do not have any bias towards any gender, when I muse about a one who would cry, why do I involuntarily seem to remind my subconscious that I am a boy and I shall not cry. I am compelled to wonder if it is just me or the rest of the world out there that is living in the same limbo of salvation from a medieval era mentality.

3.   I know that if a person cries, there is nothing feminine about it, it is a pure emotion. Tears can accompany any emotion, like love, sorrow, pain. But why would I not cry even after knowing these things? I want to cry, release the pain, the stress, feel free and maybe even weightless. I want to be confident enough to not need a shower to merge my tears with when I do. There are sundry things that shall make a man cry. A broken heart, a lonely life, occasionally even excessive happiness can serve the purpose.

4.   I may be a strong man but the self imposed pressure of not to cry even when the situation demands, or suggests only shows how weak I am emotionally, it illustrates how insecure am I about my fears and sorrows. I want to cry for the fear of not being able to see my parents again. I have been away from home for almost an year now and everytime I talk to them and they share their pain, I want to cry for I am scared. Scared shitless, but I just won’t, I can’t. I am blinded by the light of fake masculinity and a false sense of pride. When my father tells me that he has stopped running due to back pain and is taking physiotherapy to rid the pain, I want to cry because I am scared for his health.

5.   When you love someone, you always assume the worst, have you ever felt it? If you are not able to reach out, call or talk to the person when they are out or away, you would eventually think that they have had an accident. That’s how mind works, right? Always pushing us to the worst case scenario. When my uncle passed away about 2 years ago, I saw my father cry for the first time. He was shattered, and so was I. But I did not cry. I loved him, he was a great man, I still remember every peice of advice he gave me but why did I not cry, shed a tear? Is that one line that I heard, “men do not cry, and you ought to be a strong man”, made me control my tears in contemporary period, but had it handicapped me emotionally??? Is it fair to trade your ability to emote your feelings for some silly impractical value of “machoism”?

6.   It might have taken this long for me to think about it, but I am now writing about this to convince myself that it is okay to cry and I am shedding my tears along with the prejudice that I might have unconsciously had. I hope this evolves me into a better person and eventually I become a truly educated person and emote my feelings openly without any stereotypical influence. I shed the tear to shed my fear.

By A lost Soul at Sea

a passionate writer who also happens to be a mechanical engineer and a sailor

2 replies on “The Tear I Wouldn’t shed”

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