Despite what your dad (or mom, or other well-meaning adult who didn’t know the first thing about emotions) told you, it’s totally okay to cry. Boys do it, girls do it, and grown adults who’ve just had a little bit too much to drink and are now reflecting back on all the poor choices they’ve made in their lives do it, too. And there’s no shame in that!
The problem, of course, is that boys are often told that crying isn’t okay. And while learning to keep your emotions in check is important — otherwise no one would ever be able to work customer service — it’s also important to feel your feelings when you’re overcome with emotion. Fortunately for Bruce, the kid in the below video, his martial arts instructor knows a thing or two about crying it out in order to grow.
Jason Wilson, the trainer, told Upworthy that being able to understand and express emotions is important because it’s “true freedom.” And Wilson, who teaches Musar Ru, a faith-based system of spiritual training and combat that helps boys find a positive way to get a handle on their feelings, isn’t just teaching boys how to fight, he’s mentoring them into becoming strong men who are able to understand all facets of themselves.
“I don’t mind you crying. I cry a lot, too,” Wilson says in the video before explaining why it’s so important for his young student to be strong. “Being a black man in this country, you’re going to need mental fortitude. You’re going to have to be strong here,” Wilson tells the Bruce while motioning to his head.
Wilson told Today that all emotions are okay and should be expressed, as long as you learn from the experience:
“I wanted him to know, it’s OK to cry, but the key is knowing why you’re crying,” he said. “What that does for a young boy, regardless of his ethnic background, is say, ‘Now I can shake off this false masculinity I’ve been taught, that it’s not human to be this way.'”
The video, which was posted by Wilson to shatter the belief that crying is weakness, has already been shared over a million times. Let’s hope it inspires more people to break the myth that boys don’t cry.