Thank you for judging

“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy.” -James 4:12

I’m starting to feel like debate is an apt metaphor for a lot of things. Lately I’ve been seeing that  we all throw ourselves into different things, into different directions. A lot of us are looking for attention, recognition, competition. We usually find one of these at least, but I’m beginning to believe these three don’t really matter. If you have some one to conquer, some one to show up, some one to decimate in your chosen pastime, you have competition. If you do well enough at this, you have recognition. If you continue on this path you will eventually receive the attention you crave. I doubt, however, that any of this will ever be enough for any of us. Because the more attention we get, the more competition we want, the recognition we strive for, the more attention we need. This system of our personalities sets us up for disappointment every time.

At the end of a debate round, there’s no clapping. There’s no cheering. No one whistles or even smiles most of the time (unless it’s a CX round, then they are just excited it’s finally over.) Even after two or three or five rounds when you leave, there’s nothing. You just get in the van and sleep or read ballots finding out what you did wrong. At the end of the debate round, you shake hands with the other team and say “Thank you for judging.”

You don’t go into the round for what comes next. If you haul your cookies to school at 6:30 so that you can hear Baby Davis say “Not too bad…for you.” then there is something wrong with you.  When I realized this I started to think “Then why do we do it?”

Despite the “real world” benefits, like the fact that you become a better reader, a better speaking, a spiffier dresser, etc, it’s really all about growing. The actually actions. The actually effort. Not the result of them.

I’m feeling more and more like I don’t need people to clap for me. When you think about it, at the end our of lives, it’s not like clapping. We have a service, a sad party, basically a handshake to our companions throughout our time here. Then we meet God, and what more could we say than “Thank you”? Thank you for giving us a paradigm. Thank you for keeping time. Thank you for watching us. Thank you for judging.

Morgan Freeman wouldn’t debate me on that.

 

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