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Correspondence: “Debating the truth about cats and dogs”
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Correspondence: “Debating the truth about cats and dogs”

Public debating is a fun learning process that can be thought provoking and challenging at times. It teaches one to be a good speaker and appreciate other points of views, writes 27-year-old Commonwealth Correspondent Mehzabin Ahmed from Dhaka in Bangladesh.

I have always considered myself eloquent, excellent in English, very knowledgeable about worldly affairs, and very logical when it comes to arguments.

Full of pride, I thought I had everything I needed to be a debater. Well, the truth is, the first time I debated competitively, English seemed like Chinese, not to mention the fact that I forgot what the motion was.

The embarrassing and excruciatingly long and unusually heavy 2 minutes ended abruptly when I realized I still had 5 more minutes of speaking time I needed to fill and I had absolutely nothing to say. I hid my head in shame as the opponents came, mocked me and tore me to pieces.

I suppose there is a first time for everything.

When I look back at this past, not so long ago, I reminisce with a different kind of pride – pride over the fact that I have finally learnt to treat debate with amusement and confidence. On the other hand, it has definitely taught me to be humble.

Some people see the great debaters get mesmerized by their charms, and think debating is really easy. Others get intimidated and back off as they think it’s only for the highly skilled and knowledgeable. I would say every one has the potential to be a great debater at heart.

To me, debating is a fun learning process that can be thought provoking and challenging at times. It teaches one to be a good speaker and appreciate other points of views. It even teaches one to be really creative especially when one has no pre-knowledge about the motion in hand.

It’s a great way to learn to apply knowledge, logic, as well as common sense. On the other hand, there is no better self-esteem booster than when you find an effective rebuttal or even better when you win an argument and laugh at the sound of your opponents crumble.

However you may look at it, one thing for sure is, once you start debating, there is no going back… ’cause, after all, it is one of the most fun, competitive and of course addictive sports around.

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Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. All articles are published in a spirit of improving dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please click here.

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