Alone in a closed metal tube, 40,000 feet above land and miles from anyone you know. Surrounded by people who share your fate, but who do not acknowledge you. They, like you, sit facing forward in rows, focusing on their own discrete box of space. The cabin is dim and it hums; you look down at your folded hands in your lap, lit by a pool of light from above. There’s nothing to do: no email to check, no messages to send out, and minimal distraction. If you felt a gaping hollow open up inside, if you thought you were not going to make it, you would have no way to reach out to your loved ones.
Is it such a stretch to imagine a commercial plane as one of the loneliest places in the modern world? Why is seat 27F on the 6:35 from JFK to LAX the perfect place and time for a good cry?
Read more. [Image: /rsanc/flickr]
[…] Obama’s weeping episodes happened first when he was reflecting on his remarkable rise from junior Illinois senator to president of the United States, and then when he was celebrating winning his second term. His tears, then, seemed to be a positive display of humanity and humility in the face of success, rather then an admission of weakness.
The idea that male crying is acceptable in a time of strength but repellent in a moment of weakness holds for men besides Obama and in realms other than the political.