Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan


Crying… is an emotional response. Can you believe it, the reason for crying is still not known… When this came to my mind I thought about it for a long time. It is true, humans cry for very different reasons. The death of a loved one, the state of a hungry baby, a lost sports game, separation, rejection by the person you love, having a serious illness, being in pain etc. etc…

If you want to generalize, we mostly cry because of defeat or loss. If we push it a bit further I could say, we cry because of a feeling of something missing, a deficiency. Another approach that supports the theory of there being a connection between a feeling of something missing and tears could be this: As you know, we feel compassion towards someone who is crying. First we want to help him; we can’t stand to see him cry. If it continues we feel sorry for that person. Finally, especially when we don’t know what it is that he is missing and therefore are unable to empathize, we start getting angry. All this may actually be because of our own feeling of deficiency, which seeing the crying person brings to the surface. It is hard to say this, but there are people who ease that feeling of deficiency in you, whom you use as a crutch, and you cry when you lose these people. You long for the same people, and you feel like crying because of the same mechanism. You also cry out of joy. You rejoice because somehow you have overcome a deficiency. But you can also cry for the same reason because you remember the deficiency, you remember that feeling. You cry the most when you are depressed, because you are going through a period when deficiencies are felt most intensely. Very old and very young people, children even babies, and women cry more often. Because they feel deficiencies more easily! Actually, there is a well known truth which is that the human being is weak. Deficiencies are in our nature. In that case what else can we do but cry? This means that crying is not denying the deficiency but accepting it. It is “to curb our desires”. What a wonderful thing it is to cry… to cry sobbing, in the sense that you admit “I am deficient, in fact I am a nothing”… I pity those who cannot feel deficiency, who see themselves in a magnifying mirror. I feel sorry for the tears they keep inside…

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