February 2, 2017

No need to be ashamed of tears.

I cry when I watch a sad movie, or a happy one; I cry at commercials that tug at the heartstrings; I cry when I hear stories of courage and perseverance and heartbreak. I tear up when I think of the sacrifices my family made to let me become who I am, and I sob when I think of all the hardship of others just to carve out a life of peace and opportunity.

I’ve been crying more than usual, these days. The tears haven’t been effusive, but instead short bursts of emotion, a few drops from the eyes and shudders of the shoulders when I think of this geopolitical tempest surrounding us.

When I am ashamed of my crying, ashamed of my inability to keep all this strife and struggle hidden inside me, I think of the words of Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning:

But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”

We are living through dark times: daily, we are reminded that the world as we know it does not matter—that we do not matter—to those with power. We suffer, and we have the courage to fight through that suffering. It’s okay to cry when faced with these trying times—as long as we keep fighting through the tears.

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