"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss
Hello world! If you are new, welcome to the Luminstruct blog! My name is Mark and I am currently working on a "365-Word Project" by posting reflections on various words every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The reflections can be serious, can be about Student Affairs, or might just be some silly ramblings. Either way, I will do my best to take you on a journey through the personal story of my life. I hope you enjoy.
Today's word is "Cry"
A week before the trip to the Magic Kingdom, my dance instructor asked my significant other and me to bring back a picture of Pluto since he was her favorite character. While shopping, we spotted a perfect Pluto shirt and gave it to her.
A few years back I taught a leadership college course on masculinity and how to be a male in today's society. One of the main topics discussed in the class was learning how to manage emotions and how to break down social constructs. There was a ridiculous unspoken "law" that all of my students agreed on which covered various bases. Some of these included: a men could not cry in front of others, they couldn't order "girly drinks", they shouldn't like Pinterest or sewing, and definitely should not be enjoying dance lessons (to only name a few). At the core of it all, the list of rules they came up with were things which made them feel vulnerable.
The truth of the matter is that emotions, fruity drinks, sporting events and most of everything else in this world are not reserved to be enjoyed or felt by only one gender. We are only on this earth for a short amount of time, we shouldn't limit ourselves from doing something just because it wouldn't be masculine or you would feel vulnerable. The world will not come to an end if these emotions were shown. In fact, this world could use some more vulnerability. A lot of our withdrawn behaviors lead us to become isolated from others around us. The walls are built up and when we need help, we won't know where to turn or how to ask for it. Many times these feelings are then turned toward anger or fear which further isolates us from loved ones around us.
I knew how Alyssa felt when she received the shirt. I could feel her joy; it spread contagiously throughout the dance studio. It may be scary, but if we begin to break down the walls of gender stereotypes, the world will be a better place. It will unite us under a unified cause and may even lead to more Pluto shirts hugs, you never know.
Question time: When was the last time you cried?