The debate

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

A pacifist association organised a panel with a debate about terrorism and media. They called me to talk representing my newspaper. I was a simple writer so I asked why me. They told me they had asked others before me and they declined. I asked my boss why. He told me it was too polemic. There had been some attacks against our offices recently. I said I thought we had to go because all the other media were sending a representative to the panel of speakers. Our absence would be noticed. The he told me: “go if you want under your own responsibility”. “But, I said, I’m  going representing our newspaper”. He said OK.

So I went alone and I found, as my boss predicted, a hostile audience. Only ten friendly faces and all the rest against me. I said what I thought about the terrorism and the media, and mentioned the recent attacks against our offices and other media offices. They boo me, called me fascist, and things like that. I had some tense exchanges of questions and answers with some of them. I talked against violence. I stressed the point that is better solve things talking than fighting. But they didn’t listen. All the debate focused on me and my newspaper. Exhausting.

The room had two doors to exit. In one of them my opponents were gathering. My friends told me to use the other door to avoid them. But I thought it would be worst. So I went directly to the door where all of them were, told them very politely – “Good evening, thank you for coming” – and passed through them in my way out. They said nothing.

Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim.
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