Am I the only one…. who questions the value of today’s standing ovation


In my opinion, standing ovations should be reserved for the rare occasions when we’d like to show overwhelming respect for a superior accomplishment.

Some years ago I attended my granddaughter’s high school graduation ceremony. It was quite a big deal and I’m really glad I was afforded the opportunity to be there, but some of the goings on got me to thinking. To further explain, let me say that there was a large contingent of graduating seniors who had committed to various branches of our military. The moderator read off the list of names and had them stand. In recognition of the value we place on serving our country, the audience gave them a standing ovation. It made me very proud to be a part of it and I really felt good about the standing O. However, during the remainder of the roughly 2 hour ceremony there were many more standing ovations. That’s where I began to have reservations.

A standing ovation used to really mean something, but when you start giving a standing O for just any ol Tom, Dick or Harry, at least for me, it tends to cheapen the effect. Did those people who have committed to the military deserve a standing O? I honestly don’t know, but it was definitely a rewarding experience to be a part of it and it definitely felt like it was sincere and deserved. To say the least, it seemed very patriotic.

Did all the other parties who received the same treatment deserve it? Again I don’t know, but someone obviously felt they did and once a few people begin to stand as they applaud, it just seems to overflow to the rest of the room. As a result I found myself standing to applaud several people simply because someone else stood and the rest of the room followed suit.

I’m left to ponder, “Is it disrespectful to not stand and applaud when you don’t feel the urge to do so?” Restated in another way, “Isn’t it a bit of a ‘Cop out’ to stand and applaud when you don’t feel it is warranted and deserved? Doesn’t it diminish the respect afforded to those more worthy?

I don’t have any answers or suggestions about this growing phenomenon, but it does cause me to ponder.


Gramps use’ta say
©R.L.King2012 #405
Gramps 1 (9)
About: Respect

“Often, those we choose to honor
are not the most honorable.”






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