Friday, December 15, 2006

The sound of two hands clapping

A few things have come together recently which gave me a new understanding of myself.

The first was reading an article about Catherine Hewgill, a cellist healing from a broken wrist. The key phrase was "My husband said I wasn't happy unless I was being clapped at five times a week. He said I was a nightmare to live with."

The second was our four performances of the Messiah, which got a good review in the Sydney Morning Herald, and which got much applause at each performance. (Yes, the transport gods smiled and I did get back from Melbourne in time for the Tuesday and Thursday performances.) Being only one of more than 500, of course I assumed ALL the applause was for me. It gives one a very warm glow, being clapped! The days between those performance, where there was no applause, were a bit dull. I had to ask Michael if he would occasionally and spontaneously give me some! He obliged.

An audience is a wonderful thing. Whether they be listeners or readers, I've loved being in front of audiences and revelled in their applause when presenting conference papers. I adored getting positive feedback from readers when I wrote Online Currents, a newsletter about the information industry.

The third and final event was a meeting of all those involved in the PILIN project this last week. We were asked to say something about ourselves that nobody knew. I turned that around, and said that I had just learned something about myself that everybody else already knew, and that was that I just love receiving applause. They all clapped, and I sat down very happy. We discussed it later, and all agreed that positive feedback is a wonderful thing and I am not alone in enjoying it. We all need it, whether it be from co-workers, customers, your boss, your friends, your family. Some jobs give you more of it than others. Peformers, trainers, technical support people, speakers, authors, and teachers get it if they are lucky. Kind words, applause, appreciation, we shouldn't ever understimate its importance.


  1. heather1:48 PM

    Wonderful!!!! I am totally with you! My husband just thinks I am a drama queen because I like the odd bit of applause and positive feedback.. He looks at me most suspiciously when I give him any - because I must want something. Shorely shomething wrong with him not me.
    Anyway thank you for drawing this to our attention and here is a spontaneous round of applause for you from me.

  2. I think the more applause or positive feedback you get, the more confidence you gain. I will miss public speaking now that I'm behind a desk all day. Funny you mentioned Online Currents, I read the last two issues and plan to write submit something. I just don't know what yet...

  3. Correction: Is the Online Currents you used to write for, the same as the one now published by Thomson?