I Don’t Cry

That’s what a graduating senior said to me right after our Farewell Concert last spring. “It’s fine, I just never cry.” (Seniors around him were falling apart.)

I told him he should work on that.

Tears are a physical sign of being in touch with our emotions – if you can’t let yourself be vulnerable enough to cry, chances are you aren’t letting yourself feel truly joyful, either. Men, in particular, seem to fall victim to the idea that tears are weakness and that they should be stoic in public.

My last cry during a performance was while watching a high school senior (and student of my wife) at Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Her stunning rendition of “I’ll Be Here” left me weeping.

There are a half-dozen songs in Hamilton which are likely to get me sniffling, depending on how they catch me. Then again, in an interview on Sunday Lin-Manuel Miranda said, “People cry at the end of our show. But you didn’t cry as much as I did writing it.”

Are you willing to feel pain as part of the full range of human emotions?