I just had a bit of a revelation. A man who recently learned of a life-threatening health condition for his dog was listening to “My Old Friend” while at work and experienced some emotions in a fairly open (not a lot of walls and privacy) environment. (For most men in the U.S.–being seen showing sentimentality or certain emotions is often a source of embarrassment. It is for me too. I believe that we’re culturally wired and conditioned to feel that way.)
I was pleased that the man trusted me enough to be able to share that experience with me. I said that as a songwriter, it is a wonderful compliment to hear that a song touched someone in such a deep way. I added that my emotions also show at times I sometimes wish they didn’t.
It was then that the revelation occurred:
Perhaps he and I (and folks like us) are the lucky ones. We feel our feelings so profoundly that they manifest in ways that we can’t hide even when we want to. I’d rather have to deal with such situations than be unfeeling or not in touch with my emotions.
Of course, the middle ground would very be nice too: Feeling deep feelings and being able to not let them show most of the time. I believe that most men–and probably a lot of women too (but I’m much less knowledgeable about the latter)–fall into this category.
There are times when it is downright inconvenient, and other things, to walk around blurry-eyed after be deeply touched by a beautiful scene, song, or other experience.
But all things considered, there is a part of me that is glad I do. I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t.