Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

“He does not weep who does not see.”

Victor Hugo wrote those words about one without compassion.  To me, the flip side of that coin is the one who sees or hears too much and cannot help but weep copious tears.

Last night I watched a beautiful young woman cry alone in silence because she’d overheard some particularly cruel comments about her.  I don’t like to use the word stupid very often, because I believe it to be a hateful, degrading word of little, to no, value – but what was said about this lovely creature was just that… stupid.  Inane remarks whispered in moments of boredom, without thought and certainly without merit.  You see, I’m in a musical where the entire cast wears wireless microphones and they apparently forget that Big Brother, or little sister, hears every hiccup, sneeze and unkind word.

Tears.  We know the multitude of factors that can bring them forth, but do you ever stop to wonder what are they made of?  Water, sodium, lipids, proteins … tears are in fact an incredibly complex mix.  But what most of us do know about tears is that they are salty.

Salt.  You probably don’t think too much about it, but at one time, salt was one of man’s hottest commodities.  People traded salt for gold and thought it so important that you’ll find it mentioned in multiple religious passages.  Throughout history salt has been believed to have miraculous properties by the superstitious.  In ancient times, people knew of the strong “magic” of salt but lacked the scientific explanation of why, for example, it helped their food last for long periods of time.

Salt is one of the best natural preservatives you’ll find.  It is considered an antibacterial and inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes food to spoil.  Bacteria will thrive in a wet environment and salt is dehydrating, absorbing water and ultimately killing the living bacterial organism.

Any doctor worth his weight in… well, salt will tell you that too much of that good thing is bad for you.  In fact, if you ever want to stick a pin in a particularly quiet doctor at a dinner party, get him started on the effects of sodium (hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cardiac enlargement, ulcers, osteoporosis, etc.) – entertaining as heck, I tell you.

According to opthamologists (who I’ve yet to corner over a meal, but looking forward to it – get it?  Eye humor!), tears also contain a natural antibiotic called lysozymes which help fight off bacteria and viruses.  Which may be the reason why we tend to cry when we’re attacked (either physically or psychically), our bodies know what needs to be done in order to prevent the spread of disease.

Therefore, when we watch another crying in pain, it makes sense to me that we are given permission to weep alongside them, if for no other reason to show that we have witnessed the injustice, have compassion and can, perhaps, somehow aid in the spread of a virulent infection (via word-of-mouth, the internet or otherwise).

“The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.” – John Vance Cheney

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