Sakena Yacoobi and Why I’m Always Weeping

"I want to share this with you, because of love, because of compassion, and because of trust and honesty."

There is a wonderful TED talk embedded beneath this brief life update. It’s about resistance, and the transformative power of education. And it made me weep. But then lots of things have made me weep recently. On Saturday I wept copiously whilst watching Miss You Already in an almost deserted screening in Peckham.

Which is where I learned about this

Before I die ... New Orleans

I wept a fair bit in Nottingham recently too, where I spent a week cat-sitting, decorating and listening to old and new episodes of Radiolab and This American Life.  I also wept over St Vincent. Which came as a surprise. Even watching the trailer again now brought a certain thickness to the throat.

I like a good weep. Sometimes I worry I’m a little too prone. Then I think nah.

Mostly I weep with joy and a kind of all-encompassing awe-inspiring optimism for the future of humankind. I consider this healthy weeping.

What doesn’t make me weep, generally, is injustice. Like when, day after day after day after day, I read stories of (mostly) American police abusing their power (mostly courtesy of the Free Thought Project); or when I see people hating foreigners on social media; or when I read more about how the whole financial system is a great big lie designed to make the rich richer and enslave the poor. Then I just get angry. I think it’s good anger too, not destructive anger, because it makes me want to do something about it. And in this I’m not alone.

But to return to weeping.

Sometimes I almost weep, then I hold it in because it’s not considered appropriate to weep in a public place. It makes people uncomfortable and the truth is, I feel embarrassed. I don’t want to feel embarrassed but I do. And that holds me back.

Last Monday afternoon, for example, whilst buying a bottle of actually not particularly inexpensive prosecco in a branch of Lidl. On that occasion, the emotion was mostly the result of an overwhelming wave of relief at having just – finally – passed my driving test. The urge was strong, but I held back. And I kind of wish I hadn’t.

I like to imagine a world where if we feel like weeping, we weep. Openly, unashamedly, even vigorously, giving full vent to all of our emotions. I imagine a whole world of weepers and moaners and proud primal screamers, all getting it out of their systems, whenever and wherever it arises.

Actually, that might be a bit much.

But a world in which showing emotion is not regarded as a sign of weakness or mental instability or something to be politely if stiffly ignored.

That would be nice.

Anyway, this TED talk, by Sakena Yacoobi, is the latest thing to make me weep, so I thought I’d share it. It’s inspiring to me. Hopefully to you too, whoever you are, however you weep…

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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