I’ve written before about the weakness people tend to associate with others, especially men, who do not or cannot control certain emotions. Here, I’m talking about men who tear up, cry, or otherwise react in an “effeminate” manner in circumstances in which “real men” remain stoic.

I’ve decided, after much consideration, that men who are able to allow themselves to be affected by events or ideas to the point of expressing emotion through tears are stronger than men who react like rocks. Emotions offer evidence of one’s humanity; they are not to be derided. They should be celebrated. The ability to remain dry-eyed and unmoved by circumstances that move women and “weak” men is not a strength; it is a weakness. It is evidence that the person either has been socialized into false bravado or has lost the ability to demonstrate empathy. In either case, that person is weaker than the person who can freely display compassion and empathy.

That’s what I’m thinking at this hour. You?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Compassion, Emotion, Empathy. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Strengths

  1. Trisha says:

    Now there’s a thought, Juan. Might be something to that, yes.

  2. jserolf says:

    Nicely put, Trish. My own dad was fairly emotional, too. Given any Thanksgiving and a little wine, he was sure to break into tears at the dinner table. Maybe it was that WWII generation.

  3. jserolf says:

    It’s a favorite of mine…..I had to place it, and I think it applies, too.

  4. Trisha says:

    Within your thought, I recall well how my father, physically big, and strong, as was his character. He was what I would describe as a “man’s man”. He often expressed his emotions with tears. Whether it be a nostalgic pass event he recollected, or a sad movie. As a child I viewed this with warm admiration. In later years I came to the realization that he was completely comfortable with his manhood, and walking in his own shoes.

  5. Interesting quotation, Juan. I was unfamiliar with it, but did a bit of research. Though it was written with a different subject in mind, I think it applies perfectly well to the subject I wrote about.

  6. jserolf says:

    “And all the time — such is the tragi-comedy of our situation — we continue to
    clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open
    a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs
    is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly
    simpUcity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without
    chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are
    shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

    From CS Lewis “The Abolition of Men”

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