August 03, 2016

An instructor telling a student ‘It’s OK to cry’ is going viral for all the right reasons.

"That's what this is about, son."

  By Robbie Couch

Boys don't cry.

You've heard it time and time again — from Hollywood, musicians, and probably a family member or two.

The thing is, it's complete bull. And instructor Jason Wilson knows it.

Wilson is the founder of the Cave of Adullam, a faith-based group in Detroit that teaches young men a practice called Musar Ru. It combines various martial arts and meditation to help boys gain control over their emotions in a positive way.

GIF via the Cave of Adullam/YouTube.

During an especially charged training session, 9-year-old Bruce was brought to tears as he struggled to break a piece of wood with his hand.

The organization decided to share a video of the session online "to encourage all of you to not only allow your sons to cry when facing emotional stress, but more importantly, patiently walk them through it."

Wilson's heartwarming handling of Bruce's tears has struck a chord with those watching at home.

The video has racked up nearly a million views since it was posted on July 26, 2016:

“You know in life there’s going to be things harder to do than other things?" Wilson asks Bruce, coaching him through his emotions and reminding him that challenges are, at times, "going to take tears."

It's crucial that boys and men get better at understanding their thoughts and feelings, and expressing them in a healthy way.

Why? "It's true freedom," Wilson explained to Upworthy.

"What we are witnessing is a generation of boys who were fathered by men who were given by their fathers a false sense of masculinity," he said. "It's imperative that we, the men and fathers of this generation, do not allow our boys to grow up the way many of us did."

Unfortunately, not all of society has caught up with Wilson's way of teaching.

Far too often, men aren't encouraged to express themselves — or, even worse, they're taught to actively suppress any urge to open up. Research suggests "it is culture rather than nature" that supports this harmful habit.

So why aren't we doing more to tell boys they can cry?

It's refreshing to see Wilson encourage Bruce to act "like a man" and have the courage to shed a tear — especially seeing as acting "like a man" usually implies pretending you're void of feelings.

Fortunately, Bruce was able to take a few deep breaths, digest what Wilson taught him, and carry on like a champ.

And — the icing on the cake — he ends up totally showing that piece of wood who's boss.

GIF via the Cave of Adullam/YouTube.