The Clap

I got to go to the school this morning to watch my kids perform in a little concert to thank the parents for helping throughout the year. It’s nice to watch kids sing, play an instrument, or learn something new. Kids are so young and innocent and haven’t really learned much about failure yet, so it’s nice to watch them go for it.

As things started moving along, one of the teachers told the crowd to hold their applause until after the one particular class had performed because they were going to play three short songs. It amused me when the first song ended because everyone immediately started clapping. We’re so conditioned that when we hear silence during a performance, we immediately clap. (I didn’t clap because I listened to her instructions. Yay me.) After the second short song was played, a few people still clapped a bit. It looks strange to see an audience clapping. Think about it. Think about a large group of people simultaneously hitting their hands together, creating a shower of noise. It’s odd.

One thing to note is clapping seems contagious. If one person starts, others join in. Before you know it, everyone is doing it, then you have a room full of sheep banging their hands. What’s worse is the standing ovation. Why stand? It doesn’t increase the noise level, does it? All it takes is one person to stand up because he believes his clap is better than everyone else’s. Suddenly, everyone else stands to keep up with the first guy.

At the end of the show, I gave my 20 claps (I give 10 claps for regular performances and a maximum of 20 for the end of the show). But I clap loudest for my kids.


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