Recently, I retold the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” at my Toastmasters club for one of my prepared speeches. It’s a nice tale about how two swindlers make “magic” clothing for the emperor that is invisible to those who are unfit for their duty or exceedingly stupid. Everyone in the kingdom is afraid that they will be accused of being unfit for their post or become the laughing stock of the town, so no one speaks up. Even the emperor is too proud and marches out into town in nothing but his underwear!
There are worse things than marching out in public in your underwear like not speaking up. It is even more dangerous than walking around in your underwear because it gives a false sense of security that you haven’t done anything wrong. But there is a lot wrong when you don’t help that man who fell down, when you don’t tell your manager that the product has a flaw, or when you miss that chance to talk to that someone who can make your career, just because it’s not “appropriate”. Indeed, we live in dangerous times where you can live your whole life by doing nothing “wrong” and still end up marching down the street in your underwear.