This I Believe

Rachel - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006

My parents say I’m unbalanced. I know I’m not. I cry a lot; what’s wrong with that? I cry when I’m happy, sad, and angry. Crying is an odd process, but I like it.

Our tear ducts cause us to cry. According to studies, emotional tears carry stress-related substances. When you cry these tears, it’s like eliminating body waste. The sensation of them pouring down my cheeks makes me feel extremely rejuvenated. The tears wash away any negative emotions I had stored in my heart. They scrub my soul clean like Cucumber Melon scented soap.

I was in sixth graded when I realized the soothing feeling of crying. I was at the funeral of my friend’s sister, who had committed suicide at thirteen. I found myself continuously crying, and it made me feel better. The grief was being taken away. Since then, whenever I’m upset, I know what to do.

Crying is not only a way of expressing emotion and cleansing yourself; crying is a means of communication. When we were babies, how did we voice our sadness, anger, frustration, and needs? We couldn’t talk, so we cried. In a sense, we have not evolved far beyond that point. Sometimes crying is all we can do. Sometimes, it’s all we can say. A friend of mine proved that to me.

He’s sixteen, six foot three, and plays on the Varsity football team at my school. Last year, after the team lost a huge game, he walked off the field crying. The sight of this huge guy crying made me do one thing: I hugged him. There wasn’t anything he needed to say that his tears weren’t telling me. I know that because I’ve been in that situation.

When I cry, my parents yell and question me. I can’t answer with words. My tears are all I have. They speak for me when I’m overcome with emotion. I’ve realized that I am not alone when I cry. I know the power of tears, and I like it.

Crying isn’t just an act of sadness. Tears can be evoked by any emotion. Crying isn’t just an act in America. Tears can flow in any country. Crying isn’t just an act by children.

Tears can trickle down any face, smooth or wrinkled. Crying is universal. Tears don’t need translation.