I am convinced that the subject we are going to consider in my column today is one that practically everyone can identify with. I know of perhaps only a few people who are immune to or incapable of shedding tears. Those who unfortunately fit into that distinction fall into two probable categories.
Firstly, they have been conditioned by their culture (like many of the Native American tribes did to their braves and warriors) to not shed tears because it was a sign of weakness.
Finally, there are some who have a mental and unnatural disorder that prevents them from being stimulated by various emotions that causes rivulets of tears to stream down their faces.
Thank God, I am not in that number. Admittedly, I am somewhat of a crybaby (that I will explain more in depth and detail later).
Invariably, the most common time of weeping and shedding tears is at the passing of a loved one. I know of no one who has been exempted from the grief and sadness at the passing of a close relative or friend.
I have watched people (especially some men) who were reputed to have hearts of stone and who never cried or showed much emotions ordinarily breakdown in tears at the passing of their mother or some close relatives or friends.
So, beyond any shadow of a doubt, times of bereavement are the most common time when people weep and shed tears.
Times of Defeat
One of the times of weeping and shedding tears that is very common to man happens when defeat and loss is experienced.
This is especially the case during a very challenging and contested match between two opponents who are equally or closely paired whether in sports, politics, and other areas where one side competes against another.
At the end of the competition, there will be the victor who will be celebrating the thrill of victory while the losers will be experiencing the agony of defeat with tears.
Not all times of crying and shedding of tears that are common to many are negative and sad.
There are times when tears are shed due to achievement and success.
There are times when many people can’t refrain themselves from crying tears of joy because they are being recognized and rewarded for their hard work, sacrifices, faithfulness, and loyalty.
It is very common to witness students who have had to burn the candle at both ends, in order to graduate and earn a degree, cry at their graduation ceremony.
This is especially the case for college graduates on every level from an associate to a doctorate degree.
When one has to struggle and make sacrifices in any area or field of endeavor, there will almost always be tears of joy from many who have had to go against the winds of opposition to succeed and achieve their objectives.
I have had to use a handkerchief at quite a few events and occasions that were either joyous or sad to wipe away tears.
Since we have already considered the sad occasions of bereavement and funerals, I will only consider those times of happiness and joy when it is quite common to see people (even grown men) crying and wiping away tears.
Perhaps at the top of the list of events and special occasions that you will most likely witness people shedding tears of happiness and joy are at weddings.
I cried at my daughter’s wedding and witnessed women and men crying at the many nuptial ceremonies that I have presided over beginning in 1982.
Another special occasion and event of happiness and joy is at the birth of a child. Again, even many fathers (especially first-time fathers) will shed tears at the birth of a newborn.
My final time of tears and celebration occurs at the winning of a championship. This is especially true when it is a first and breakthrough victory (like that which occurred for the Dillon Wildcats football team in 2008 in Death Valley Stadium at Clemson University). I was among the teary eyed and elated fans who were celebrating and somewhat ecstatic that the Wildcats had finally gotten the monkey off their backs.
In this final section of my column today, I will consider an area of many of our lives where we are prone to shed tears due to our emotional and very sensitive makeup.
Like so many of you, I am a melodramatic crybaby who occasionally finds myself swelling up with tears while watching a movie or some melodrama on television. I will often attempt to disguise or hide the tears if others are viewing the drama with me. This is especially the case if my son is watching something with me.
He has been known to mock and tease me by saying, “What are you crying for? It ain’t nothing but a movie!” I just ignore him during such times because he does not realize that there are some people who have been genetically wired and predisposed to be very sensitive to certain situations and circumstances even when they are portrayed in novels, on stage, in the movies, or on television.
I do not apologize nor am I ashamed for being a very emotional and melodramatic person.
Assuredly, the world is in dire need of more sensitive and compassionate people who will shed tears at witnessing both the misfortune, pain, and tragedy of some, as well as the conquest and triumph of others over evil and tyranny.
Thank God, if you belong to that vanishing breed.