This is an assignment in legal writing: To write a fictional letter to the mayor of the City of Omelas – a fictional city – based on the short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas“
City of Omelas
OFFICE OF THE CITY COUNSEL
The Capitol, Omelas Avenue, Omelas City
April 24, 2021
City of Omelas
The Capitol, Omelas Avenue
Re: [Case #000100] Human Rights Violation Case Against the City
Dear Mayor Odysseus:
A case was filed before the Supreme Magistrate yesterday in relation to the vile imprisonment of a child in the basement of Zeus Building for many years now. The petitioners accuse us of grave human rights violation. Your honor, as your retained counsel on this case, I offer two advice:
First, we have violated core principles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. If not addressed promptly, this shall lead to more outraged consciences, international sanctions and ultimately the downfall of this city. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” This is a basic principle understood by all civilized nations. The child has inherent dignity and rights. He is a human like as we are. “Every man x x x is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the ‘image of God’”. Truth doesn’t change even the whole Omelas denies it. We are committing a grave crime. Your honor, our ethical paralysis and enduring passivity for years has been inexcusable. All must be free or none of us will be free.
Second, despite sporadic departure of our outraged citizens, there has been no effort on our part because of the fear of losing this place. That“x x x if the child were brought up into the sunlight, x x x cleaned, xxx fed, xxx and comforted xxx all prosperity and beauty of Omelas x x x would wither and be destroyed.” If I may speak freely, let us not be fools, your honor. If we keep doing nothing, the disgust of our citizens will also destroy us from within. It is death by decay. When shall we act? When all the youth are gone? When shall we tread the unpopular but right path? When shall we stand tall in the face of hardship with courage to dissent no matter the outcome? Do we think we have “life” now? But what really is a meaningful life? Isn’t it doing the right thing? Isn’t it making a brave stand that will be eternally remembered? Isn’t it facing evil with bravery even it will cost us our life? The right thing is hard but evil is harder and more burdensome. The right thing will give us rest. It’s worth losing everything, just to get back to what truly matters.
Are we brave enough to stand for the right thing? If we are not willing to make sacrifices for a principle, if we are too enamored with the idea of luxury and comfort, we might be able to delay death for a little while, but sooner or later we still have to face death but leaving our children with worse inner turmoil. The consequences of ignoring this child will be enormous – far greater evils than we can imagine. I’m asking you to choose between being comfortable and doing what’s right. What shall we profit if we keep the whole Omelas and lose our own soul?
We hope that this case takes priority and that our leaders will work expeditiously to ensure an urgency in this matter.
Very truly yours,
BRICKS VILLAGE OF ROSES
City Counsel of Omelas