Do you remember the old Four Seasons song Big Girls Don’t Cry? Well they DO cry, and so do boys!
I grew up in the era where MOST of the men in my life would tell me to “Stop Crying”. “Men don’t cry,” they would lament. They were wrong!
I don’t hold anything against those men of influence. After all, they were part of what we call The Greatest Generation. Many experienced the Great Depression. Many of that era gave up their lives so we could enjoy our freedoms! Thank you!
Barbara Walters – when interviewing General Schwarzkopf – said surely Generals don’t cry, do they. The General answered, “Sure they do.” Strong men cry. They are not afraid to cry. But I was, until I turned 30 years old.
That’s when I finally embraced who I was, who God made me to be. I was created with the gift of music. It’s a gift I have been blessed to use in my career for 35 years now. And what makes me great at music is that I have a high emotional IQ. Some would call it an EQ (emotional quotient). It makes me great at music. It makes me great at “reading” people and feeling what they feel. It helps make me a compassionate teacher. It makes me too sensitive at times, caring too much what people think of me (yes, there’s a downside).
If I were to place crying on a scale of 1-10, many of those men who mentored me as I grew up would be a 1. I’m probably an 8. My family likes to make fun of me – in a good natured way – because I cry so easily while watching movies; I cry when I get to see my grandkids; I cry when it’s time to leave the grandkids; I (almost) cry when I eat truly delicious, wood-fired, Italian style pizza! My “grandfather” was the same way. Here’s what he thinks about pizza as it relates to love.
So it’s ok for grown men to cry! You’re in good company with the General, President Clinton, President Obama, and the Creator of the Universe Jesus Christ Himself.
Emotions are great. Crying is great. Just be careful not to let those emotions guide your decision making. Emotions can’t be trusted.
*** James Divine can be found crying over episodes of America’s Got Talent with his wife of 35+ years. He is also the author of Jimmy – A True Story of Abuse, Poverty, Forgiveness and Redemption about his childhood and victory over the terrible things he experienced. Most of his tears these days are joyful ones. Find out more about him at www.jamesdivine.net.