Big boys don’t cry

by Michael Armijo

By Growing up in an era where men were perceived to be stronger and more dominate than women, I can’t help but remember the age old adage of: “big boys don’t cry.” I’ve even embedded into my mind a belief that was riddled into my head: “there are only 2 reasons why a family isn’t functioning properly: the problem is the absence of a father, or the problem is the father.”

I believe that in this day and age this old adage is no longer accurate. Many women raise their children on their own, and sometimes they are a couple of women raising children together. And their kids turn out fine. So what’s happened to the “big boys don’t cry” philosophy? Does it still apply? Do we still follow such advice?

I am an emotional man. I attribute that to my upbringing. My parents were fairly absent after I reached 6 years of age, and I spent the bulk of my time hiding from an angry father while being raised by six sisters. These once beautiful women taught me to love each other, respect each other, to be considerate, and to always look your best. They also taught me to be sensitive and to be in touch with my emotions. This goes against every fiber of the philosophies that were embedded in my mind while growing up as a male.

I believe there are times when a man should cry, to allow his emotions to be set free. I believe a man should know and acknowledge what’s in his own heart. To release the pressures of his mind. We need such releases that could, at some point, cripple us as human beings. Make us believe changing your partner is the answer when it really just adds into the problem. To run away because you found someone who you feel comfortable letting your emotions out to. Something that you were taught to do.

We need to understand that the more we ignore these feelings, good or bad, it allows us to become distant human beings. Until we find something, or someone, that will allow us to be free from such dark-age philosophies.

So, as each emotion builds up inside of me, and as each tear slowly makes its way out of my eyes and down my cheek, I realize we should all know what’s in our souls that’s left to trickle down to the surface. And this makes me believe that I no longer have faith in the ancient philosophy that big boys don’t cry.