My 14-month-old daughter claps for just about everything these days – a song on the radio, the sight of our dog, strawberries at lunch, etc. Of course I think this is charming, but lately I am finding her generous reception to be quite wise. When we receive applause or appreciation of any kind, it reinforces the value of our actions and increases the chances we will do whatever we did again. Gratitude from others inspires us to try harder the next time, and it builds on itself – we try harder, they try harder, and suddenly we’re all trying harder to make things better for those around us. Applause – even for the smallest of feats – can be the slight push that creates appreciative momentum in a relationship. And that momentum may be just the thing we needed to start moving toward something truly wonderful.
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