While watching the television program, the X Factor, I had noticed that my eyes were filling with tears, and yet I was experiencing a delightful feeling of joy! There were other times when I experienced those very same tears of elation while watching similar programs.
Then I noticed the audience. They were just as tearful and full of joy as was I, along with screams and shouts and applause and standing ovations! We are such strange creatures. We actually cry when we are happy!
A question then came to mind. Why is this? What explains this fraternity between so many of us and those thousands of people in the audiences of the X Factor and similar programming?
Aside from the obvious, that of enjoying the song itself, either the lyrics or the melody, or both, or the vocal talents of the performer, could there be a more deep-rooted, deep-seated explanation for this phenomena?
Joy is such a strong emotional force in our lives, so much so that I suspect it can easily short-circuit our cognitive faculties. Many of us choose simply to enjoy those rare moments of happiness, electing not to delve into the whatnots, the wherefores and the why’s of it.
But what of those who feel compelled to dig deeper? Well, we put on our old galoshes and dirty jeans and shirt and dive right in! I always enjoy the shower afterward!
Is it conceivable that this social camaraderie springs from a God-given kinship, oftentimes noticed during those times when we see exceptional talents displayed in another? Of course it is! That was a rhetorical question. Everything on this planet is God-given.
For many of us, it is a joy to see God’s handiwork, His blessings, no matter who the recipient. This joy could also stem from our gratefulness that God extends mercies and blessings to anyone at all. After all, He does not have to.
For others, tears of joy are in fact tears of jealousy and resentment. I have been guilty of such, occasionally. “Why not me, Lord?” has been my lament. Ever experience this for yourself?
Another interesting occurrence takes place with some of the women judges. When they see someone with exceptional talents, they become all emotional and teary eyed. There are many women in the audience who do the same. Rarely do we witness this in either the male judges or those men present in the audiences.
Why is this? I personally believe women are far from being the weaker sex. Men seem to hold with this peculiar notion that it is a sign of weakness to cry or to express personal emotions or feelings. Women often leave themselves wide open, vulnerable, exposing their emotions and feelings openly. And yet it is so often the men who proudly lay claim to their possessing Cojones!
I actually heard a woman judge tearfully declare that she could not compete with the talent of a particular contestant, and actually said she “just had to stand in awe” of the contestant’s performance! This was said by a national singing star! Wow! Now that takes guts, particularly on world-wide television.
I had another thought regarding all these emotions. Could much of these emotional, tearful displays of joy possibly be a reaction to the general sense that life is, at best, difficult, demanding and frightening?
We are often having to make decisions that bring us anything remotely close to joy or elation, let alone a short-lived feeling of happiness. Half of us are in poverty and millions have lost their homes, some having lived their entire lives in that very same house. Many of us are just two to three paychecks away from living on the streets.
And so, when we witness someone displaying exceptional talents, this often triggers emotions rarely experienced, giving the illusion of there being something out there to be grasped, to be achieved, that we can actually and ultimately achieve whatever we wish.
This must be so. Isn’t it? Had we not just witnessed an astonishing performance? Rarely do we give thought that the talent has much more to do with God’s hand in the matter, and not that of our own.
This realization is so terribly humbling, so much so that our minds create blocks, avoidance, half-truths and sometimes rather elaborate, convoluted rationalizations designed to not only fool others, but ourselves as well. This can be so depressing, the notion that our lives may well not be that of our own, but that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes and, conversely, this notion can be filled with indescribable glee and joy!
A very powerful addendum:
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” ― Washington Irving
I happened to stumble upon this. It caught my eye. And so I offer it to you.
Your comments are welcomed.