Charlotte Bronte may be considered a ‘chick author’ by some, but in literary circles she is respected for her insights about human sorrow long before Sigmund Freud tried to pin it on mother-hatred. Bronte wisely wrote: “Better to be without logic than without feeling.”
The other day when Yankee great Mariano Rivera took his last bow, even manager Joe Girardi couldn’t hold back the tears. Now it’s true John Wayne and Clint Eastwood never cried, but that was in the movies. In the real world, every real man has felt the hot wetness in his eyes when faced with loss. To repress those tears — you know the be-a-man bravado! — is not only laughable, it’s a lie.
Look, fellas, your generation should know this by now. The era and aura of Wayne & Eastwood has surely been superseded by both psychology [ the experts advise against repression ] and women [ most will tell you they prefer gentle to gritty ]. Even though our culture still shows a dystopian affection for zombies, vampires and assorted anti-heroes on our latest TV series, there has been a steady appreciation for nice guys as much as otherwise. [Ironically, the same Tom Hanks who uttered those words about crying is a good example of today’s ‘nice guy’ image].
To measure this claim, take note of who the audiences give their loudest cheers to at the various [endless?] awards ceremonies. We may still like our villains, but it’s the nice guys who play them who win the biggest applause from their peers.
So lets give it up for the Bronte sisters. Almost 200 years ago they were courageous enough to assert that hearts were as important as brains…that feelings were as essential as ideas….and that those who couldn’t see that were humanity’s greatest danger.
One wonders if feeling-less brains like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao ever read the Brontes. Probably not. Too bad for the rest of us….
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