Yay Brava Applause

At nearly 18 months, Baby Girl appreciates applause, both receiving it and giving it. She enjoys “playing” the harmonica and after a few bars, she stops and looks at her audience of family and waits for us to respond with accolades and applause. Then she resumes playing for a bit, and the scenario plays out again. Yay! Brava! Applause!

Baby Girl appears to genuinely appreciate the affirmation of her talent.

I’m happy to report that she is just as joyous to show her appreciation of fine artistry displayed by others. Her Momma took her to a bubble show recently. (Yes, blowing bubbles, but extraordinary ones!) Baby Girl (I should start calling her Big Girl) was the first to applaud and call out “Yay!” after each display of bubble-blowing prowess.

The fact that this child is open to appreciating recognition and also lavishly doling it out to others warms my heart.

A portion of my public speaking coaching involves applause—again, both giving and receiving.

After each student presents their homework talk in class, the group applauds. We learn to appreciate applause for the sheer value of being recognized. Too seldom in life are we applauded!

Then I ask my students to be the best audience members as well; pay attention to every speaker, give solid eye contact, smile, nod your head if you agree with a point being made, and be the first to applaud when the speaker finishes.

Sometimes in the busyness of daily life, we forget to be appreciative of those around us. We can fall into the habit of taking others for granted. I’ve been trying to be better at saying, “Thank you,” for even small acts of kindness at home. This requires being mindful of what’s being done for me. And I am talking small acts. Last night I offered the last bit of ice cream to Richard, and this morning he bequeathed me the last cinnamon roll. No, it’s not always about goodies!

But look for ways to show others your appreciation. Because a well-placed Yay! Bravo! Brava! Applause! will brighten someone’s day.

And since it’s been a while since I said this to you, my readers, I appreciate your supporting me by reading my posts, sometimes commenting, and sharing them with others. You can’t see it, but I just gave you a well-deserved standing ovation.


Harvard.edu article on gratitude