No Longer One Hand Clapping — the Power of Human Connection

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readDec 14, 2023

An ancient mystic was asked, “What is the sound of you? What is the sound of yourself?”

The sage replied, “I am the sound of one hand clapping.”

Each of us, alone, is one hand clapping. I can see my hand. I can make a clapping motion. I move my hand through the air. The air moves with the movement of the hand, air currents eddy, and turbulence is created. But it claps alone; there is no sound.

The movement of the hand is meaningless; it is unheard and achieves nothing.

To be heard, another hand is needed. With another hand clapping, meeting my hand clapping, there is sound. There is sound with two hands clapping.

What is one hand clapping to the world? Nothing, it is silent, nothing is expressed, nothing is said, nothing is heard.

But with two hands clapping, there is applause, a clap of delight or a joyful greeting. There is something said, there is a consequence, and there is meaning.

Alone, one hand clapping, we are not complete. To be complete, we need another hand clapping.

With two hands clapping, we share, communicate and come alive. With others, we are fully actualized. We have meaning.

We need others.

I give thanks for all the others in my life, I am not one hand clapping.

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Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.