A newspaper editor sat at his desk and stared at the flashing cursor on his computer’s screen. He didn’t know if he should delete the article he had just written or go ahead and publish it. He was scared and filled with doubt.
The empire had passed a new law stating that citizens could only use the imperial language. The editor disagreed with the law and decided to write an article about why it was wrong. He felt that the new law excluded people of different nationalities and racial and ethnic backgrounds. He had firsthand knowledge of what it feels like not to be fluent in the imperial language because he was from a remote part of the empire.
He felt that the empire shouldn’t be monolingual and should be more inclusive. Yet he was afraid that he would get in trouble for having this belief. Many would say that he was not a patriot — that he didn’t love the empire. But he didn’t wish to undermine the authority of the empire. He wanted to argue that the empire could be stronger if it accepted people of various cultures and beliefs.
At last, he decided to stop being a coward and to be earnest about how he felt. He wrote the article. It wasn’t rude or angry, but rather, very solemn and intelligent. The next day it was published in all the papers.
Everyone was impressed by his tact and showed solidarity with his ideas. He expected to be arrested any day, but the police never came. Surprisingly, instead of being prosecuted, he became a hero. The legislature changed the law, and people from many linguistic backgrounds praised him.
“Never be afraid to be vocal,” the editor later wrote. “If you think something is wrong, then stand up for what you believe.”