I'm definitely in the latter camp. While news reporters clearly can't become tearful over every story they cover, we shouldn't condemn the occasional emotional lapse. It's not a sign of either unprofessionalism or weakness - whether you are a man or a woman - just that they're human beings.
More recently, of course, we've also seen President Obama cry while talking about gun control.
I probably sympathise with them both, because I cry at the drop of a hat and have done since childhood.
On Sunday afternoons, I'd often watch a 'weepie' film with my mum and younger sister. Mum would always be first to cave, with me quick to follow, and my sister finally following suit. 'I was all right until you two started,' she'd grumble. Dad would then peer over the top of his newspaper and say, in his dry way, 'Are you all enjoying this?' 'Yes!' Mum would sob back at him.
I was once howling my way through an episode of a television drama in which First World War deserters were being put before a firing squad, when Dad asked me 'What are you crying for, it's only a story?' 'I know,' I said, 'but it used to happen!'
The problem is that my imagination and empathy conspire to put me right at the centre of whatever I'm watching or hearing, whether truth or fiction, and really feel it.
|Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
From my research, it seems that some of us fall into the category of 'Highly sensitive person', and those of us who are anxious or neurotic by nature are also quicker to tears. Others shouldn't judge us for that, but nor should we judge as uncaring those who are made of stronger stuff.
In fact, in spite of my frequent waterworks, I'm actually a really strong person, who - like the Duracell Bunny - just keeps going.
There is, of course, a 'release' element to crying - it's believed to release stress hormones from the body - and always bottling things up can be detrimental to your physical health. This quote, from British psychiatrist Henry Maudsley, puts it beautifully: 'The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.'
Now, where are the tissues? Just in case...