Sad but True: what I learned with James Hetfield’s tears

I was at the Metalica show, here in Brazil, when James Hetfield cried on stage.

His journey was heavy and he was not afraid to vent his pain. The whole band ran to hug him as the lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the world burst into tears.

James Hetfield / Metalica / Brazil / Belo Horizote / 2022

It was beautiful and inspiring to see a grown man with a solid career say he was scared of life and didn’t know if he was doing the right thing. And it was even more charming to see that he understood that the support of his bandmates, his family, and the public are his strongest foundation.

After all, our journey has its ups and downs, and these events offer us the most valuable experiences in life.

By the way, I remembered a little story…


It was a beautiful morning.

The sun smiled at me in a different way that day.

I felt an overwhelming urge to do something new as if the world had some surprise for me.

Well, I was only 4 years old, so few things were allowed for a kid back then. But rules were never very important to me.

I took advantage of the fact that my mother was distracted, and went to the gate to observe the street. People were going from one side to the other, just like the cars. I looked to both sides of the block and saw that they both disappeared in a curve as if the world were round.


I thought in my childish mind: if I go, either way, I’ll come back here in this very place, and if I do it too quickly, my mom won’t notice I’m gone.

So I set off, without fear, into the unknown.

That small and fearless human being walked as if he were discovering the world. From door to door, every novelty, different people looking at me as if I were an alien, thought-provoking scenarios, everything was enchanting.

There came a time when fear began to take hold of me.

I didn’t know it, but the block was much larger than usual, and my idea of ​​taking a short, safe trip started to fall apart.

I picked up the pace, but it didn’t help much. A tear ran down my face. Every step hurt like I was running away from a Roman legion after beating another gladiator and managing to escape the Colosseum.

The tears continued.

Suddenly, I reached the last corner. There was my house, and there was my mother, desperately looking for me. They both were crying.

That day, I learned that discovery is a wonderful thing, but it comes at a price.

Of course, it takes perseverance in the art of exploration. If we want to evolve as people, it will take courage, dedication, curiosity, and, above all, responsibility.

Whenever you set on a journey let the people who love you know in advance, and don’t forget to prepare for all dangers. After all, no learning comes for free.

Today, when I remember these childhood adventures, I realize how each of them influences me every day. Every book or project I start, every friend I win, everything new feels like a journey into the unknown. And we’ll have experiences that can make us cry, wanting to give up halfway or move on, in order to know if the risk was worth it.

What new journey are you going to start today?



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
William Barter

William Barter

Professor - Pesquisador - Consultor de Criatividade / Professor Researcher - Creativity Advisor.