If you don’t cry, you’re strong. That’s what we’ve grown up hearing. The less emotion you show, the stronger you are. The less you let yourself feel, the less your chances of getting hurt. And the more you allow yourself to feel, the more susceptible you are to pain.
It is because of this thinking that today’s generation finds itself in a deplorable state. We are constantly told to keep it in, to stay composed until we become too composed to a point where we have become almost damagingly indifferent. And this world does not need any more indifference. This world needs empathy. Does it need people who question their feelings of empathy for others?
The Class Activity
As part of a class activity, we had to introduce ourselves and talk about what we’re passionate about. What was supposed to be a simple class exercise turned into, for me, a firsthand encounter with what the repression of emotions has done to this generation?
A student talked about his passion for video games and very casually informed the class that he finds it difficult to empathize with those in need such as the Rohingya community as he feels that what is going on in his life is much more important.
I believe his exact words were “I couldn’t care less.” Another student then went on to talk about how he was confused as to how to feel. He spoke of the fact that he was more emotionally attached to his dreams and career goals than he was, perhaps, to his loved ones.
Aside from that, numerous students talked about their difficulty in expressing themselves, and some stated that while they were willing to be emotionally available, it was difficult for them to do so owing to their past experiences with people.
I was witnessing the worst sort of crisis: our generation had forgotten how to feel. And those who did feel found it best to keep whatever it was, inside them.
It produces a massively large number of detached humans with tightly restrained emotions. Emotions that they cannot let out lest they get hurt. The irony of the situation is that they are causing themselves the worst sort of damage in doing so.
How To Feel Strong?
What we need to understand is that you are not weak if you feel something. You are not weak if you express yourself freely. You are not weak if you open yourself up to love and friendship and have the courage to trust people.
It is important to understand that you will get hurt regardless of how careful you are. You can live life trying desperately to avoid any attachment, but you will stumble, you will fall at some point. No one goes through life without feeling pain. People betray you. People break your trust. People don’t give back as much as you give them.
But you know what? Give regardless. Because people also stay loyal to a fault. People also uphold your trust. And sometimes, just sometimes, people give back more than what you could have ever imagined.
So allow the heart God has given to you to fulfill its purpose. Allow it to feel love and pain and joy and sadness. Allow it to open up to other people. Allow your tears to flow. Allow yourself to scream with joy and to weep with sorrow. It takes an astoundingly greater amount of courage. It takes incredible strength. It’s what makes you strong.
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Author - Warda Tauqeer
Warda Tauqeer is a student of Mass Communications at NUST, who loves to read books and fantasy novels and express her thoughts on paper.