The Strength Of Vulnerability – Men Who Cry

I don’t like talking politics here although there are occasional mentions of the political climate and divisiveness we have endured. An occasional op-ed is just my speed. For more checkout – my ode to the Reverend Raphael Taking Warnock and the promise it offers to us all.

The divisions between us seem to have expanded exponentially in the last four years.

Let me rephrase this and say the divisiveness that has escalated perhaps has always been there, but today is very visible, prevalent even, at the fore and in this moment utterly undeniable.

It’s scary and there’s a certain type of behavior that sometimes is seen as strength, power, mighty but when we dig deeper, do the work we begin to see that aggression and outspokenness are perhaps an underlying attribute of something else. That dogma is generally based in fear and powerlessness.

We all know bullies are sad, insecure, fearful of being found out so they deflect, they bully. That’s what they do. So let’s just say showing up on the basketball court or in the halls of congress as a tough guy isn’t really what’s it’s cracked up to be.

My point with this post is this – I saw a moving speech today by incoming President Joe Biden. He displayed massive emotion, tears streaming down his cheeks, breathless in moments, trying to contain himself, but fully out there, on display, vulnerable, beautiful.

So the biggest men, the baddest men, the best men cry. They don’t contemplate the hour or the company. If the emotions come they are organic, authentic and on display. They do not hide their vulnerabilities and they need not pretend to be the tough guy. Rene Brown explains in eloquent detail – the power of vulnerability. Catch her viral Ted Talk here.


The tough guy knows how to cry. Crying men have been seen as weak and meek men for far too long. This stereotype of a man showing his vulnerability as a bad thing has had its time. It’s run its course.

And now we have a Commander In Chief who cries, openly, candidly, powerfully. And this is exceptional in and of itself.

I’m moved so deeply by the powerful speech and tribute that was given by our newly elected soon to be President Joe Biden. A tribute to his son suggesting his son Beau Biden who died of brain cancer should be the one who is up there today coming in as the newly elected President.


In this display of love and emotion I see strength, resolve, resilience, power and prowess to lead by example, lead with heart and the courage to bring us all together.

I’m hopeful his softness, his consideration, his thoughtfulness will be the unifying factor. We don’t need hateful rhetoric.

We need kindness. We need understanding. We need acceptance in the face of adversity. We need leadership in the wake of tyranny.

This is what the future holds. I see promise. I see purpose. I see hope.


Yes, I believe in free speech and no I do not believe in hate speech. Censor it as twitter finally did.

This is not a constitutional issue and a free speech issue. It’s a human issue. It’s ensuring peace prevails at all costs. And if someone lose’s a powerful platform that engages mobs of angry entitled people at the ready to incite violence then that bully and his platform and hateful rhetoric must be aborted. This was a necessary ban.

These are the same people who would like less accountability. They assume by way of entitlement that they should be held to a higher standard. These are the same people who called Colin Kaepernick – Unpatriotic, Un-American. The same rules must apply to everyone – irrespective of race, color, creed. My op-ed on Kaepernick here.


So in the end the point is this. Nice men, good men cry. Men in this day in age who can stand tall can shed a tear. Men who are elected to the highest office in the land can shed a tear and it demonstrates your bravery and your courage, not your weakness.

Let this incoming speech be a lesson for young men who were taught not to be soft or not to show vulnerabilities. Fearlessness is showing your sensitivities and having the strength to put in on display without judgement.

This is true power. This is what we can lean into now. We needn’t judge, but instead feel a sense of trust and restored hope in a democracy that has been lost, but is now found.

Tomorrow is near. The inauguration of President Joe Biden – a first of it’s kind much like the President himself.


Posted by

Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.