Inside Out, Eli Manning, and Barack Obama: Real Men Cry

“Are you crying again Dad?”  My daughters run up to me and hug me saying its ok and the movie is not real. But it feels so real to me in ways that they can’t possibly understand; at least not yet.  Not until they become parents will they understand what it’s like to gaze into the eyes of their newborn child or feel the pain when some of the harsh realities of life crush the spirits of their children. Living and studying in Japan for many years made one thing become very clear to me; the unique cultural trait that the unreal portrays the real better than the real does.  This aspect of the Japanese culture rings true for me in Disney’s Inside Out, which was my favorite movie of the year and quite possibly my favorite Disney movie ever. It’s also the movie I’m talking about here that is making me cry after watching it for the fifth time and counting. 

To be honest, I cry in movies all the time. I wonder if it’s the music or the story but really, who cares?  I cry and cry often.   There is something about the internal struggles we all face in life felt in movies like Inside Out or Hoosiers or Field of Dreams that hit the heart hard.  But its not just movies that hit me hard.  Real life moves me too.

As a Giant fan, I was moved to tears watching Tom Coughlin talk to Eli Manning in his farewell address as a father would talk to his son.  As Coach Coughlin told Eli that his departure was not Eli’s fault, Eli swelled up with emotion, his chin and mouth were quivering and it looked to me that it took all he had to not let go at that moment. Watching his final address to all of us reminded me of what a great man he is and what is truly most important and it’s not winning.  Its the higher ground, the greater purpose of team.  It’s the lessons, principles and life skills needed in the world that matter most.  Equipping men with the virtues that last a lifetime is the goal of a great coach not just winning. Virtues of honesty, trust, responsibility, respect, service, and integrity make us all winners in life.  How does this great coach’s final address reminding us of what it really means to be a winner not make one cry and swell up with emotion?

The other day, our President was moved to tears when talking about the 5 and 6 year olds who were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut.  It was powerful for me to see the world’s arguably most powerful leader moved to tears.  He showed a side to us that made him more real, more human. He reminded us that it is okay to cry.

Real men cry.  Don’t let anyone else tell you different or mock those who do let their emotions surface.  Sadness is an emotion that exists in all of us and if you saw Inside Out, you learned how denying one’s sadness and the emotion that comes with sadness, denies us the chance to experience joy and all other emotions in our beautiful lives to their fullest.


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