Here then is a brief (yet somehow exhaustive) list of the sundry circumstances and situations that have brought me to tears in the last month.
The Foundation for a Better Life. Whoever they are, they're out to get me. They are making these (honestly wonderful) feel good public service announcements that get played after hours--(i.e. the only time I watch TV--i.e. when I get paid to watch--i.e. whilst working the graveyard shift at the Children's Emergency Shelter.) Any one of them could be considered emblematic of all the others: some jerk knocks a nerd's books and papers down to the floor and a kind hearted jock sticks his neck out an helps the outcast; a pinata is burst and all the kids but one walk away with handfuls of candy whilst a single sensitive girl turns, notices the poor kid and independently decides to share her share; a rough hewn hockey player sings Itsy Bitsy Spider to his sweet little daughter. Just simple messages about sharing and kindness. And for whatever reason, every once in a while, I find my eyes going cloudy when I watch them. Am I soft brained or soft hearted? I don't care. And I don't care what secret right wing mega church is funding the "foundation." These commercials are top shelf. And they get you either way. Tears for the better world they fictionalize, or tears for the reminder that the world really is good, and full of nobly good people who help each other.
My Son broke up with his girlfriend! She is an honestly wonderful girl that any guy in the world would be lucky to be associated with in any way. We were in no way unhappy with his association with her. Even so, one day he broke up with her, and by way of explanation, he simply stated: "I see my friends with no girlfriends, and they are all good at various things, and have seriously developed talents. Then I look at my friends with serious girlfriends, and they are good at working at restaurants and crashing their cars." He understands that at some point, when it no longer constitutes an absolute waste of his time and resources, a girlfriend will be a rather worthwhile concern. For now, he is just going to "date a variety of girls and hang out and not deal with the stresses of being attached to one single person." Who wouldn't shed a little tear of joy at a young person displaying wisdom beyond his years? Maybe you have to be the parent of the young person in question. Or maybe at his age I was ridiculously consumed with the very concerns he is eschewing, and am overjoyed to see him being spared the misery that I went out and grabbed with both hands and stuck in my mouth.
Jeffry R. Holland. Suffice it to say he is an apostle. He spoke in a recent conference about a book I have loved for a long time. He spoke with a force of clarity and a dedication and a love that brought a tear to my eye.
My Friends. They all made plans to come up and help me finish painting my house. The plan fell through on both ends; so I was either inspired at the good intentions of wonderful people or miserable for the failure. Either way, thanks guys.
Movies. I don't know, you name it. Samwise carries Frodo on his back up the slopes of mount doom. Todd and Copper realize a fox and a hound cannot be friends. Wil Smith pursues Happyness. The Apple Dumpling Gang rides again. These days, I can't watch any representation of human kindness or achievement against difficult odds without having to blow my nose. I was even misty when the lifetime underachiever from Seattle became the King of Kong (which, if you haven't seen, you have no claim on humanity!)
Some might say that I am getting old. Or that the side effect of occasionally wearing pants ostensibly made for women, (other than the supreme hotness) is a certain softening of the sensitivities--which is not necessarily a good thing. Others might claim that my life of suffering and struggle and dying dreams has left me a little raw, that my heart is a fresh and open wound that essentially over reacts to the stimulus that normal humans can brush away like so much daily dust. Whatever the reason, I know for a fact that tears cleanse the windows to the soul, and leaves the view tinted with humility.
And I'm proud of that.