In Others’ Words: The Multiplication of Applause

Applause Applause 2017

It’s the most natural thing in the world to applaud when someone does something good, isn’t it?

Well, yes … and no.

I love to attend Broadway shows. I don’t hesitate to start the applause after a moving duet or rousing dance performance. I’ve clapped my way through more school productions than I can count, not to mention sports competitions, and even some favorite movies. And yes, I’m talking about applauding in a theater, not at home. Although I’ve done that, too.

But I’ll confess that there have been times when I’ve hesitated to applaud another’s success, especially when the other person’s success threatens mine … or so I thought.

As a writer, I’ve achieved more things then I’ve ever hoped for … but there have been times when things I’ve wanted have eluded me. Awards. Recognition. Words of praise from someone I respect. And while those things passed me by, I’ve watched someone else — sometimes a close friend — do something good and get the very things I’d hoped for. Awards. Recognition. Words of praise.

My first reaction? Well, a few years back, my initial response wasn’t to applaud. Sometimes I sulked (in the privacy of my home) or sometimes I wondered, “Why not me?” Instead of seeing — and celebrating — someone else’s success, I focused on my lack.

But now I embrace the truth of Samuel Goldwyn’s “applause, applause” philosophy. When another writer does something good like finaling in a contest or winning an award or landing a contract, I applaud them. I hope in doing so, I add to their celebration. And yes, I’m happier too. The limelight shifts off my “what ifs” and onto their accomplishments — right where it should be. 

In Others’ Words: How do you celebrate others’ success?

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. July 11, 2017, 12:16 am   /  Reply

    As my dreams have drifted out of reach, I find that I can all the more sincerely celebrate the success of others.

    I wish I had learned this lesson years ago. It’s worth the heartache, and the pain.

    • July 11, 2017, 6:51 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: Your perspective on celebrating others’ success is more refined than most. And yes, I’m thankful I’ve learned the “multiplication of applause” after all these years. My goal now? To share the insight with others as I can. My sixteen-year-old daughter knows the truth a lot sooner than I did. 🙂

  2. July 11, 2017, 8:09 am   /  Reply

    I love it when my friends are successful. Do I sometimes feel that twinge of envy? Unfortunately, yes. But not for long. That success is God’s plan for their life. He has something else in mind for me. And it’s always good!

  3. July 11, 2017, 9:30 am   /  Reply

    As I get older, it’s much easier to whole-heartedly celebrate the success of others (instead of tenaciously hoping for my own). But I find some of my most successful friends do all they can to support and pull me and others forward to assure our successes, too. Wonderful and amazing!

    • July 11, 2017, 10:09 am   /  Reply

      Dee: I agree with you. Maybe celebrating others comes with maturity. But then again, maybe we need to be teaching this valuable lesson to those younger than us, yes?

  4. July 11, 2017, 9:53 am   /  Reply

    Oh, how I love this blog post. Being happy for others is one the best things I do for myself. I read about it first in a book by Louise Hay (you wouldn’t think someone had to tell me, but they did). She shared about Reverend Ike who, when he was a poor minister and would see others who had a lot, would say things like, “Isn’t it wonderful they have so much abundance? There is plenty to go around.” Of all the wise things she wrote, this one made the biggest impression. I’ve practiced it ever since then and it’s more of a blessing to me than those I celebrate with. It feels so good that it almost feels selfish. 🙂

    • July 11, 2017, 10:10 am   /  Reply

      “Being happy for others is one of the best things I do for myself.”

      Preach it, sistah!

      Love, love, love everything you said, my friend!

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