We clap at a lot of things: ceremonies, celebrations and concerts. Applause is a great way of showing pride, appreciation and respect. That being said, there are also times when we forget to clap.
Clapping at movies isn't nearly as common as it used to be. Nowadays, it takes a particularly stellar movie to merit applause from most or all of the audience. In my opinion, all good movies deserve applause. We paid to be entertained for two hours, so why not show some appreciation and enthusiasm for the movie? After all, we clap at plays and other live performances. Just because the actors can't hear us doesn't mean they don't deserve our applause.
Church may seem like the last place to clap. If you do, you may get side-eye from some more traditional church members. It might appear loud and out-of-place, but I think it's actually quite fitting. When someone gives a speech, people typically clap. So why should a sermon be any different? It's similar to a speech, but it draws on the Bible. If you like, respect or agree with the message, why not clap? It's like a resounding AMEN!
There are various kinds of parties that celebrate a plethora of things. I'm not suggesting you clap at a frat party when someone does a keg stand. I'm talking about birthday parties, graduation parties and even retirement parties. This may seem obvious, but I would venture to guess there isn't much applause at parties except for following speeches. Why not clap for the birthday girl, the graduate or the retiree, even if they don't give an impressive speech? Isn't their achievement impressive enough?
Parades are a grand affair! A community comes together to celebrate what makes it special. Companies and clubs deck out eye-catching floats. There's usually a marching band, some gymnasts and a local sports team. Do these hard-working people, young and old, not deserve our applause? Should we not clap for their fantastic floats, marvelous melodies, and classic cartwheels? I argue that we should.
Conferences cover a variety of subjects, from education to relationships. They typically involve a speaker who addresses a room full of people that are interested in the subject at hand. These speakers fall somewhere in between a person giving a speech and a pastor giving a sermon. Whereas one is common to clap for and the other is not. Conference speakers don't always receive the applause they deserve.
The next time you're at the movies, church, a party, a parade or a conference, remember to clap for the people that make it great.