I have been a Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) fan since the first time I heard her very fragile voice over a microphone explaining her dissent. I was taken back by how she summed up all of my feeling about the case into a very concise, controlled, impactful statement. She seemed like a superhero that got it; she understood the average person. She was a woman, and she was battling for everyone like her, including me. I cried, watching her love story, and got inspired to see her workout. I couldn't help but think how lazy I am if she is working out daily, and I can't muster up the strength to get on the bike that sits in my living room. Her energy exudes in every life area, but her humility stood out beyond it all, even with so much concentrated power inside one person. Here are four key lessons I have learned from peering into the life of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
Silence is strength:
Justice Ginsburg was well known for her pauses between sentences. She was in no rush to fill dead air with meaningless or unprepared words. She was thoughtful in what she said and to whom she said it too. This lesson goes beyond what most of us can control with such grace. Dead air haunts people to a point they fill it with unnecessary information. What should be a thoughtful and meaningful conversation turns into gossip. To be comfortable with your knowledge is to get acquainted with dead air. Forming a thought of substance is not always a race to the finish line; it is an art form. As a Business Psychologist, I practice silence; I practice listening to others; I practice patience. Human beings' natural state goes against all of those things because everyone wants to be heard right now, not later. It takes practice, but once you master the air around you and the words that exit your mouth, your intelligence is elevated into sacred space. There isn't a word that can sting you, no label that can define you, and no person can validate you. Simply because you understand the person across from you has not reached that level of peace, and so you can only tune out the chaos in which they live. Honor their presence and impact their energy through your humility and calm.
The human experience should not be based on sex or race:
Equality is a right to all, not just to some. Women should have the ability to play sports competitively, enter into schools of their choice, be the CEO, be the President, be whomever they choose to be that particular day. Additionally, black and brown people have rights, the same constitution protecting everyone else covers us too. In the context of how our society has evolved, we are, as my neighbor would say, 'geographically and financially bound' through our interdependence on every race to contribute to America's economic advancement. Without all Americans participating in society, the economy would surely fail. Black and brown people are working many essential jobs to the economy and spending a significant amount of money, which fuels large corporations. We are and have always been contributors, whether that be through forced labor or elective.
Politics and policy are not the same:
Politics are driven by emotion, power, and greed. Politics influence policy and sway it to the will of those in power, but the true nature of government is to be bipartisan and seek to fulfill the rights of all people fairly and equally. Politics tend to muddy the waters as we seek out the truth and interpret words written over a century ago. Who were the words intended to represent, and who should be protected by them? The vision of what America could be is lost in the politics of far-left and far-right-wing banter. Each extreme creating an America of their liking with no compromise, and so we battle ourselves, or growth, our stability, our very own country.
A white woman can appreciate black culture:
Cultural appropriation is a hot topic all the time, but take note from RBG. She showed everyone how an appreciation of Black culture could be done, in the words of Bigge Smalls, with "style and grace." One commonality between the late Biggie Smalls and Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not related to being from the same city. Biggie smalls was lyrically gifted. He could deliver poetic lines concisely, laced with truth, and coated with reality. It was his God-given gift, and despite those who have no regard for hip hop culture, he is a legend that cannot be matched, replaced, or forgotten. When you think of legacies that cannot be rivaled or compared, especially for their play on words, like Biggie, RBG wears the crown.
If you read this and disagree, respectfully, "I dissent" my opinions are in the aforementioned article. Rest in Peace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
About the Author:
Dr. Amera McCoy is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist who is the Owner and Founder of McCoy Consulting LLC, an organization that offers a suite of services for businesses including consulting, coaching, content, and classes.
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