Be not afraid: Write today and write some more


Like millions of people around the world, I am mourning the terror that has gripped France in recent days.

not afraid

(Flickr: L.C. N√łttaasen)

The execution of the journalists at Charlie Hebdo has very rightly spurred many out of their homes, spilling into the streets to send a message to terrorists and anyone who threatens a human being’s right to free speech — not afraid.

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For some, this may feel like just another tragic day knotted on a string of other tragic days — think Australia and Canada — but my hope is that the outrage that is being expressed now will not simply melt into the next terror attack to senselessly claim lives in some other unsuspecting city.

Be Not Afraid

One of our greatest, most fundamental needs is to communicate. To hear and to be heard. We seek truth and communion with humankind through words. To have that most vital and basic need denied would mean a catastrophic undoing of hundreds of years worth of work and sacrifice to ensure our right to speak — and write — what’s on our minds.

Read: Remembering reporters in times of tragedy

Do not be fooled. That right is slowly, but surely eroding. With time and terror, we are unwittingly succumbing to swords wielded in the name of righteousness from every corner of society.

As writers, we know a thing or two about words. We embrace them everyday here at We understand their importance and meaning. We know their power.

So, today, in honor of those editors and cartoonists, journalists and reporters, all across the world who have paid or are being threatened for the crime of applying pen to paper, I urge you to write.

Write with courage. Write with truth. And then share it openly and responsibly with others.

Read: Standing tall: Become a courageous writer

I believe we owe it not only to our colleagues, but also to a world that increasingly finds itself under assault. In everything you write, be a beacon of honesty and imagination, integrity and hope.

Elevate. Educate. Inspire.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at


Kerri S. Mabee

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