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

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.

True

When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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