I just read a piece in Newsweek mag about men crying My Turn
Reading this was like looking at my life with new eyes – thank you Mr. Marino. I find myself getting choked up and tearing up at the most amazing damn things. To understand this is to look inward, not something that middle-aged men (or men of any age, for that matter) are able to do. I have long prided myself on the ability to be introspective. And yet, my propensity for tears, for choking up in what should otherwise be normal conversations, is unnerving.
Why should that be? Well, for one thing, men are incredibly adept at defense. We spend a huge portion of our lives, from birth to young adulthood, learning how to defend against whatever. We defend against our fears, we defend against ridicule, we defend against uncertainty, we defend against shame, we defend against WHATEVER. We are, in our younger years, the masters of defense. And then, with the events that are ultimately a part of our lives, our defenses no longer matter. When do our defenses no longer matter? When we realize that what we bring to the world is not aggressive strength, but in fact wisdom. When we realize that what we bring to the world is no longer pride, but legacy. When we realize that what we bring to the world is temper and reason, not hot-headed domination. It is at that point, when our defenses no longer matter, that we can become the men that we were meant to be.
I said unnerving, because at face value that’s what it is. But, when reframed, it is clear that we don’t need to be unnerved. This is, in fact, the achievement of a laudible and critical role that men, in our later years, can realize. We should not be unnerved, or ashamed by our ability to emote! Yes, again, we should not be avoidant of our natural, and, inevitable, emotional face, one that we should celebrate and disseminate. We have held back for so long, the freedom to express our true feelings should be liberating. And so, Mr Marino, you have given us license to feel what we feel and to understand that it isn’t such a bad thing…