Men show vulnerable side, and it’s okay!
WHAT? Men can cry on tv too???
Mental health awareness is so prominent in media right now for all the right reasons. Now sometimes this can be just lip service; however, after the tragic passing of nine people in a helicopter accident on Jan. 26 that included basketball icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and other members of the sports community, I witnessed something meaningful. Men crying on television. Not only did men cry on television but they videotaped themselves and put it on social media for everyone to see. This may not seem important, but I view it as a huge step forward in promoting mental health awareness and what real masculinity is about.
It sucks losing a close friend, and to many NBA players that is what Kobe Bryant was to them. I saw and heard grown men crying on television for everyone to see, grown men supporting each other in a difficult time, and that is something that has rarely been seen on a grand scale. Dwyane Wade posted a video of himself on his Instagram story, talking about his feelings, weeping while he spoke. To me that is such an important message to the young fans around the world. Men cry, and it’s okay to cry when we are hurting like that. Losing someone very dear to us is not a time to stuff all that emotion down, lock the lid and wait to explode on a random person or a loved one. We can share that emotion and our peers will not call us names for us, we will not be labelled as weak, or “not a real man”.
More to this point, nearly every person I saw interviewed and asked questions were either trying their best to hold back the tears or sobbing openly. Journalists were doing the same. Everyone that I listened to, whether they had met Kobe or not, talked about their empathy for the loved ones who are left behind to mourn. They were able to express that sadness even thinking about how they would feel if it was their loved one who was gone, or how their loved ones would feel if it happened to them. To me this is a welcomed change in the media. I don’t want to see more tragedy, but when there is tragedy, I hope that no one will feel ashamed to feel their feelings. Those feelings of loss, tragedy, and empathy are a part of the human experience that we all share together. I watched, listened, and read at least 50 hours of coverage of the helicopter tragedy and came away feeling much better about humanity because of kindness and sincerity displayed. Now to get all hippie on you, hopefully that can translate into everyday life, because the world can always use more love and kindness. Peace out. man (read in the voice of Tommy Chong)!