“Until it’s my turn, I will keep clapping for others. It’s really that simple.”

Stumbled upon this quote on a FB Page. Really liked it for its positive message. It sure feels so good to receive appreciation. So, it is excellent to have this message being loved, appreciated, and shared across many mediums…

At the same time, this quote got me thinking…  

  • Are approvals and applauses so important?
  • Why do we depend on others’ approval and applause?
  • Are we not happy just being ourselves?
  • Is there anything called intrinsic satisfaction and happiness?
  • Is this applause even genuine?
  • Or is it coming from “You pat my back, I pat yours.”?
  • Is this applause conditional?
  • If the applause is conditional, how does one feel if it is not reciprocated?

In ancient times, the Roman kings and the emperors used to appoint ministers, poets, and writers of great eloquence to judge and ascertain (read praise) them, their kingdom, and their rule. The king and his kingdom’s success was measured by the applause received from his subjects. Later, democratic election wins were predicted, and campaigns were designed depending upon the amplitude of the applause a candidate generated.

Parallelly, as the theater evolved, paid laughers, criers were hired to create a fake response/applause to lead/steer the audience in the desired direction. Much later, some clap-o-meters measured and displayed the volume of clapping made by the audiences. The data was then used to decide the result of the competition, which most often was manipulated.

So, it has always been like…people measure their leaders and themselves -one clap at a time.

With the advent of digital media’s affordances, our arena of performance, the audience, and the applause have shifted to the virtual world. And thus, our ways of applause and appreciation have also changed. Now we like, link and share, accentuate and amplify our applause with smileys, thumbs-ups, and a whole range of personalized emojis and icons. With this change, the line differentiating the performer and the applauder has almost diminished. These seemingly simple acts of appreciation have messages far beyond the applause itself, as they are no longer just fleeting moments of our emotions. For our emotions are being tracked, preserved, and processed to be exploited in various ways. 

I’m thinking… if clapping has always been the universal sign for applause and appreciation. As I see it is more of a Western cultural influence now universalized. Because the only form of clapping associated with Hinduism is the clapping done during Aarti, Bhajan. and Kirtan. And this is primarily encouraged to create a taal and bhav in the bhaktas. Taal and bhav (loosely translated as rhythm and emotion) are necessary for awakening Bhakta’s devotion, streamlining his haywire senses, and leading him towards Bliss. Not to mention the health benefits of clapping as our palms have more than 400 hundred Acupressure points. Our Rishi-Munis must have also known the health benefits of clapping, which modern science is listing now.

And, according to Bhagawad Gita.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥ २-४७

karmaṇyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣu kadācana।

mā karmaphalaheturbhūrmā te saṅgo’stvakarmaṇi॥ 2-47

कर्म करने मात्र में तुम्हारा अधिकार है, फल में कभी नहीं। तुम कर्मफल के हेतु वाले मत होना और अकर्म में भी तुम्हारी आसक्ति न हो।

To work alone you have the right, and not to the fruits. Do not be impelled by the fruits of work. Nor have attachment to inaction.

The quote “until it’s my turn…” is a complete antithesis to Bhagawad Gita’s verse. Because it is not only asking you to work for success ( desire for fruits) and then wait for others to clap for you. Further, your work (clapping) is being done conditionally. 

Gustav Mahler’s Quote beautifully and perfectly summarises the gist of the Bhagavad Gita’s verse 👇💕

“The point is not to take the world’s opinion as a guiding star but to go one’s way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.”

Of course, any appreciation is fantastic, but one done unconditionally is even better. So I wonder…

  • Why can’t our claps be like babies’ first few claps…Totally innocent and unconditional. I say ‘First few claps’ as babies also eventually learn to measure and manipulate…
  • Or, even better…Why can’t we be just happy doing our own thing without expectations…just like the Sun, the Moon, the Flower, and the River…

Peace Out ❤️

Kalyani Sreedhar Kakade

29, JyeshthaKrishna Paksha, Chaturdashi1943 Plava, Shaka Samvata Singapore, Singapore 08 July 2021


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