2020 Life Logs, Day 261: Freedom and Opportunity for Everyone
Date: Friday, September 18, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 73, Low 60 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA
Earlier this evening I learned of the death of the 87-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I have always admired her as I felt like she not only stood up for the rights of women, but she truly stood up for the freedom and opportunity for everyone with a ferocity that is almost unparalleled. But it was not until I watched a video about her life last year that I realized just how much of an American icon she had become. In one of his letters from the Birmingham Jail, another American icon, Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Those words have never been more poignant. And I feel that RGB lived everyday of her professional life trying to stamp out that injustice. I love this quote from her. “Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” Oh, so true. She had such a clarity of thought about so many aspects of life. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you are going to be missed by so many. You made sure your life made a positive difference for as many people as possible and history will bear out your greatness.
My favorite story about RBG comes from the time she and her husband were both at Harvard Law School. They were already married and had a three-year old when Marty Ginsburg found out he had testicular cancer. She went to classes and took notes for him, then came home and typed up the notes for him. And she did this while attending her own classes and caring for a toddler. She had to learn to survive without sleep, but she persisted. And she persisted in that same way throughout the rest of her life, fighting for justice for all. And in the end, fighting for her own life. I really wish I could be on the steps of the Supreme Court tonight with those who are gathering spontaneously to celebrate her life. I can’t be there physically, but I am with them in spirit, singing Amazing Grace right along with them.