Super Bowl Victory and the Sound of One Hand Clapping

One hand can’t clap.  One person can’t do a high-five!

Watching clips of the Green Bay Packers celebrating their Super Bowl win, we love those moments when a guy turns to exult and makes a connection with another who is celebrating.  We enjoy seeing the victors so happy, so fulfilled.  We love even seeing Gator-Ade dumped on a coach (though I cringe when it’s cold out), knowing that he won’t be mad; this is part of the celebration. This is a welcome connection that — in other contexts — would be unwelcome and even obnoxious.  In the thrill of victory, all connection counts for good.

Sunday night produced many opportunities for people to grab onto others who felt like they did, triumphant, and to give high fives, hug, do fist bumps, even smile.  Connections were rampant, among players and coaches but just as much so with spectators.

When we rejoice, we find our joy increased by connecting with the joy of others.

So when we can’t find anyone to celebrate with, all is not right with the universe.  I saw a clip on the news the morning after the Super Bowl.  It wasn’t intended to illustrate anything; it was just a nanosecond among all the celebrating, where one player was captured, at game’s end, jumping up in triumph, his body rotating towards the sidelines to connect with other players, and coming up empty.  There was no significance to it other than that no one was nearby, at that exact place, looking towards him, at that particular moment.  He didn’t connect.  His joy went unmet.

And something in me ached.  It was unpleasant to witness.  Embarrassing even.

For we really do hope for consummation of our joy in connection with others.

I went online to read about this phenomenon.  But wasn’t sure what to “google.”  I chose “no one to celebrate with.”

And ouch!  There are a lot of people out there who don’t have anyone to celebrate milestones with.  And who are hurting as a result.  And even sadder, they are turning to internet forums to say so.  Talk about bowling alone!

I found a post of a guy who passed his driver’s test and wished he had people to join him.  He wrote, “It was the same when I passed my exams, I have no friends to go out with or have a drink with. It makes events like this seem so anti-climatic. I mean i was thinking about taking my first solo drive, and I realised I have nowhere to go.[sic]”

I found a post by a bulimic woman who had written about having no one to rejoice with her that she had eaten well for six days.

I found sites dedicated to Valentine’s Day advice for those with no one with whom to celebrate.

It’s all pretty sad.

Though scripture tells us that “each heart knows its own bitterness and no one can share its joy,” that is not an encouragement to not try!

Who around us is looking for a hand to complete a clap or a high-five?  Who is looking around expectantly hoping to share a joy?  Where can we complete those metaphorical passes of the football and go on to the joy of touchdowns, the consummation of our exaltation, which is only complete when it is shared?

~ by Cary on February 9, 2011.

One Response to “Super Bowl Victory and the Sound of One Hand Clapping”

  1. […] (and how connecting to others’ stories in fiction or in reality affects us deeply).  And I wrote a few days ago about the desire, when we are happy or joyful or excited, to connect with someo… (as evidenced in the Super Bowl victory […]

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