I was born into a police family, and I’m extremely proud of my heritage.

Before I became a writer and a speaker, I had performed only two different jobs: a police officer and a businessman. Police work was the most natural thing I’d ever done.

With every call, accident, disturbance, and a million other scenarios, the decisions I made seemed almost second nature. Maybe it’s because I had watched my father do his job and soaked in all that knowledge, or maybe police work was simply what I was born to do.

As a Missouri state trooper, I had to control my emotions, even when a "normal" citizen would cry. Tears never even came close to falling from my eyes, even in the most horrific of accidents with which I dealt.

As a businessman I also felt I couldn’t show emotion. I made every decision based on success and nothing else. I was a nightmare for anyone dealing with me.

Later in life, I was concerned about my inability to cry. I had cried only once as an adult.

A few years later things changed. I dropped to my knees and prayed to God and cried. Sometimes, I look into my grandchildren’s eyes and see the love they have for me and do all I can to not cry.

In Georgia a few days ago, I couldn’t get through my speech regarding abortion without crying. After that I was speaking on the phone with one of my best friends. She was taking her last breaths, and I cried while she whispered that she loved me.

My point is, don’t be ashamed to shed a tear for others. It doesn’t show weakness — it shows strength and God’s love. Let your life be guided by those for whom you are shedding a tear, as they are the ones who need us most.

When was the last time you cried? Crying is a gift from God, so use it.

Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com.