It’s Okay to Cry

Young girl with tears running down her face

Before our daughter started school, we had her in a private daycare not far from my wife’s work. For the most part, we liked the woman who ran the day care, but there was something that our daughter told us in her final days there that has stuck with me. Our daughter had been upset about something and was crying. The day care provider told her that unless she was physically in pain to not cry. When I heard that, I wanted to cry.

I have never told my daughter to stop crying. When she’s tried to say something to me through sobs, I haven’t told her to stop crying, just to take some breaths in there so that she can speak and I can understand her.

Crying is how we naturally express discomfort or pain from the time we are born, not just physical pain, but emotional as well. A child may cry as much from a bad dream as they do from skinning a knee on the playground. As we grow up and have a falling out with a friend, break up with someone we’re dating or married to, face the death of family members (including pets) it’s natural that we cry.

Many people also cry when feeling a great deal of joy, like when a child is born, or at a wedding, or a loved one comes home from war.

For far too long boys and men were told not to cry, that it isn’t “manly”. Men are apparently allowed to get angry and punch something, but not cry when they’re hurting.

Crying is human. In fact, humans are the only animal that sheds tears for any reason other than lubricating our eyes. Humans cry from the day we are born and we shouldn’t ever be told not to. It’s a key and healthy way of expressing our emotions, it’s what all humans should be allowed to do, without judgement from others.

Image courtesy of MaxPixel under a CC0 license.

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