The word ‘debate’ may sound hostile, as it glorify clash of ideas/ opinions that sometimes (read: mostly) are equipped with emotional baggage, such as the desire to win in a conversation.
The existing myth may be true and may be not (for some debaters). Despite of the on-going stigma, always remember that you are being defined on what you do not on what you say. Moreover, rumor has it true that once you started your journey as a debater, you are going to lose your former self (in a positive way of course), for debating was-and-is-and-will-still-be a life-changing experience. Here are the reasons worth fighting for:
It empowers you
As obvious as it seems, debate hones your critical thinking and public speaking skill. Now that we are living in a globalization era (thanks, internet), where when something is happening in a certain area, it could contribute to a change in another area.
It is time for us to actually convert ourself as a globally informed citizen that fight against hate, ignorance and other destructive traits of mankind. However, the will alone is not enough to advocate your voice.
You are going to first learn how to put yourself on the shoes of other before you are able to speak for them. Through the debate rounds, you are going to be exposed toward tremendously many bad scenarios that has happened/ is happening to a particular group of people/ the victims.
Through that debate round too, you are going to be vulnerable toward your analysis strength and weakness, not only from your opponent debater but also the adjudicator. And here is the beautiful part. You learn before you debate. You will learn again when you debate. And you will still learn again when the debate has ended. It totally prepares you to be a decent human being.
You learn how to conquer fear
It is very common for us to worry over things that have not happened yet. The fear/ worry that is faced by debaters may sound silly, just like any other kind of fear. Our fear varies, ranging from fear of facing against a senior debater in debate round (a problem, but not really if you have faith in luck) to the extent of fear of not having enough finance to participate in a certain tournament (a serious problem, especially if you get your Visa rejected).
And just like other humans, we get anxious and sometimes panic. But, thank goodness, the basic problem-solving skill that we always use in debate could positively change the way we perceive fear.
Basically fear is just an illussion or subjective phenomenon that tend to encourage us to escape from reality. However, with the given skill, we begin to internalize the mindset of problem solving and later perform the most pragmatic approach. Eventually, such mindset later becomes habit.
And with good habits, you carry yourself to become a better you. Oh, and to continue the possible melodramatic outcome of a competition, you will experience lose, and eventually you are going to learn from that lose, and later, win.
Note: Statistics claim that most people are more afraid of public speaking than death.
You get to become an agent of change
Previously, you have read how debate gives positive benefits on yourself. Now, it is time for you to actually pass on the knowledge through your action. Are you sitll familiar with the most recent things happened in our Indonesia?
Particularly on the intolerance issue, not to mention how some irresponsible parties refute the actual truth, which with its absence trigger people to hurt one another. Here is the thing.
Debating is a platform to exercise our humanity. The empathy that we have practiced in debate rounds could serve as a catalyst to motivate us to contribute to society. Many of us are currently taking classes on different subjects.
Those knowledge you obtained from classes is one thing and most oftenly, common people would just use the knowledge to enrich themselves (read: selfish). By debating, we begin to see the world in a bigger-picture.
We learn that to achieve positive change is not solely earned just by enriching oneself, but we need to also care for our surroundings and aim for the collective benefits.
Side benefit: Travelling!
As you can see, the number of debate tournaments in our beloved city is very limited, while we are still striving for achievement and experience. Thus, we need to expand our scope of competition from participating in a local tournament to the regional/ national/ international level. Don’t you worry, those greater scale tournaments will always allocate time for travelling purpose, e.g. city- tour day for its participants.
Not to mention, how you could grow your network/ find your true love (since debaters are mostly open-minded when it comes to sexual orientation/ preference, if you know what I mean) in that competition.
Another side benefit: academic merit
Through the path of English-language Parliamentary Debate extracurricular, you will get tons of certificates. Those rare-papers are incredibly good not only for yourself, but also for your almamater. For starter, those certificates can land you awesome opportunities like scholarship, or maybe to support your ambition as a valedictorian.
On the other side, your certificates could also contribute to elevate your faculty/ university accreditation. Long-story-short, you are going to be famous in your campus. Lecturers are going to love (read: discriminate) you!
Those 5 reasons did motivate the author to keep on debating ’til now. The author has never felt regret over choosing this path of life. In fact, the author is proud of this debater identity and crave to contribute and to continue the great efforts of giants of the past to keep the world heading in a right direction. You could be one of us.
Sorry for the long post! Cheers.