A young child and her mother were sitting in the parish playground. The girl held a jump rope in her hand.
The priest walked by and asked her why she wasn't skipping rope and she told him she didn't know how. The priest took the rope from her and began to jump, faster and faster, putting on a remarkable display. Then he gave the rope back to the young girl and told her to try.
She tried and tried and kept stepping in the rope but with much encouragement from the priest and her mother she could eventually skip the rope from time to time and then more often. With each success he mother and the priest would clap for her. Soon, her confidence built, she was skipping rope like a pro and her mom and the priest continued to clap.
After while the child wandered off with her rope and the priest and the mother sat and talked for a while until they looked up to see the little girl returning dragging her rope behind her.
"What's wrong?" her mother asked?
"I think I did better when there was clapping," she replied.
Wouldn't it be nice if we clapped more often for our children? Why did we stop? They still need it at any age. Truth be told, we all need it, even at our age. Wouldn't it feel good if someone clapped for you right now? If someone let you know you were doing a good job?
What a difference that would make in the lives of all of us.
(Originally posted to Multiply August 12, 2008)