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Just Janice: there's nothing wrong with crying in public

Rod Stewart’s charms have always eluded me - the croaky voice, Spinal Tap fashion sense and cockatoo barnet.

Do We Think You’re Sexy? Actually, no.

However, even I was moved when he broke down in tears at Celtic Park after the Hoops’ amazing Champions League victory against Barcelona this week.

His display of emotion was just so real - his greetin’ face infinitely preferable to the posturing, Jack the Lad image of yesteryear.

His tears made the news because they streamed down a famous coupon but sportsmen and women, as well as fans, getting moist of eye, is a regular occurrence, and one that we’re used to seeing on TV.

A much rarer phenomenon is that of a politician displaying genuine emotion, so the video that’s just made its way onto YouTube, of President Obama crying as he addresses volunteers at party headquarters, the day after his election victory, is quite something.

Exhaustion will have been a factor, of course, but the gradual build-up of emotion during his short, off-the-cuff speech, culminating in a single tear rolling down his cheek, as he talks about how he feels inspired by the young people he is addressing, and how he feels that the future is secure in their hands, is both moving and startling, because it’s such an unusual sight.

The President referenced Robert Kennedy’s famous 1966 speech to South African students, when he talked of how “each time a man stands up for an ideal...he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and...those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression.”

I was ready to blub because I watched the Obama video, then listened to the Kennedy speech, just after coming home from a gathering in the Gorbals that had been full of emotion - lots of laughter, and the odd tear too.

It was my privilege to host the post-show discussion at the Citizens Theatre, following a performance of Glasgow Girls - Cora Bissett and David Greig’s brilliant musical based on the true story of the group of girls from Drumchapel High School who fought for the rights of asylum-seekers in Scotland.

The actresses were joined by the real Glasgow Girls, and one of them, Roza, closed the evening by echoing RFK’s words, reminding everyone that what they had achieved had started with one small step - a step that anyone can make.

So, if you fancy an exhilarating night at the theatre, Glasgow Girls continues at the Citz until November 17.

And if you can’t make that, you can be similarly inspired by another Scottish schoolgirl, whose story is told in a book from Cargo Publishing - Neverseconds: The Incredible Story of Martha Payne.

Out on November 15, every book sold will provide 25 Mary’s Meals in Malawi.

In the midst of all the bad new stories, we should spread the word about these brilliant young Scots and their ripples of hope.

I will as soon as I finish blubbing.

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