When I was young, I grew up with the philosophy of the day being "when the going gets tough, the tough get going". Toughness was considered an admirable attribute linked to strength. In the workplace, above all else, the modicum for business decorum with a facade that exemplified success was "never let them see you cry." I was lauded by my supervisor at my annual review, ironically 2-weeks before I was laid off due to the economy, for my stoic demeanor at work as I was told "he would never have known I was going through a divorce". I got extra points for leaving my tears at home and following the adage "keep calm and carry on" at all costs.
After the devastating events of my layoff on the heels of a divorce, I was reduced to an avalanche of emotions, mostly tears, which I kept private with the exception of a few close friends. When I joined Hubpages, I exorcised my demons through creative writing.
I believe crying is chemically necessary as a release for emotions that, if pent up, will cumulatively act as a detriment to mental health. Human beings, by nature are self-protective, as built for survival. We are taught, from early on by parents that love us, that to appear too vulnerable or weak may likely render us victims. We are taught that certain behaviors are private. While crying is a built in mechanism for relieving stress, pain and loss, most people protectively reserve it for the privacy of alone time or share it only with trusted companions.
I believe the nearly universal popularity of watching films and listening to music is in the freedom felt in the expression of our emotions. The films and music I enjoy the most are those that I relate to powerfully enough to feel my spirit soar, or when I am moved to tears. I don't believe we have 'forgotten how to cry', but rather we are protectively selective in where and with whom we share our fears, disappointments, losses and grief of our tears.