Do you have any crying time in your life?

Crying time is more acceptable for women than men. Nevertheless, even men have their crying times. Crying time most likely occurs over a tragic death, when we lose a relationship, attend a funeral or feel badly about something we did. Paradoxically, many people cry when they are happy, for instance at weddings. Others cry when they are angry.

For men, there is less crying time than for women. I have often wondered what the purpose of crying is or how the function developed. What evolutionary or biological purpose does crying serve? There are those that say that only music truly sets us apart from lower creatures, but do animals cry? I have seen sadness in some of my pets, but I cannot say I have ever seen an animal crying. For myself, I cannot say that I cry very much. This is not to say that I never cry. I have cried tears of sadness and tears of pain but I cannot remember ever crying tears of joy or tears of anger. There are certain stories that will always bring tears to my eyes. “The Little Match-girl” is one of them. I have never seen a production of the story or read the story without crying.

When my first wife and I separated, it seems like I spent one entire week crying. Crying seemed purposeless at the time. However, after the release of disappointment and emotional uplifting, I was leading my life again solo without looking back and trying to resurrect the relationship. The crying allowed me to let go of things and to move forward with my future. So maybe crying would be a better release for many people than the displays of anger and abuse we often witness in our society. I can’t say that thoughts of anger and retribution at finding my wife in bed with another man did not cross my mind. They certainly did but I did not act on them.

What would it take to make crying more acceptable for men as well as for women? Would it decrease abuse and rage in our society if we encouraged men to spend more crying time? What about teenagers and the problems with school violence and suicide? Could more crying time be an antidote to these problems? What role does crying play in your life? Do you find crying to be helpful? Do you cry enough?

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