In case you missed it Monday night, there was a presidential debate, which reminded me of my own debating experience, which triggered this slice.
Twenty-five years ago, I spent a gap year as an exchange student in England. (It wasn't called a gap year at the time, but study-abroad.) Hindsight tells me I went into that experience as a callow fellow. So, I embarked on the adventure with clear intentions to shake off my callowness by saying yes to most invitations that came my way.
Thanks to that casual calculus, I found myself standing in front of a crowded lecture hall one month after I arrived in 'England's green and pleasant land.' The occasion was the weekly convening of my school's debating society. The society invited; I accepted. Thus, I was tapped to take the con side, arguing against the following claim: "The world would be a better place if America had not been discovered."
The audience was politely hostile; I was still plenty callow. Let's cut to the chase: Charged with defending my country's place on the planet, I failed.
Then, as now, the world kept spinning. Plenty of work remained to do.