Here is what the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg means to me:
I am not one to typically idolize a person, especially someone such as herself, who within the past decade really became an icon outside of just a person. I prefer to really focus on the humanity of an individual. I do though, like anyone, look to people as markers of inspiration, as someone with traits that I aspire to.
As with anyone she was multi-faceted and no portrayal can accurately convey anyone, still, she came across as quiet but fiercely convicted, smart and steady, demur and powerful, strong and consistent, and yet still being kind and loving despite ideological differences. A great embracer of her dualities in a way that we are really learning these days is how to proceed with grace and impact. She showed us that the world can be unfair but we can little by little persevere and make change, consistently, solidly, in the face of great opposition, even if it takes a whole lifetime. A woman, who at almost fifty years took on a mantle of leadership representing not just women and those oppressed but also women of a certain age, who are significantly underrepresented as powerful, sound leaders and professionals.
Without her work women still wouldn’t be seen by the law as equals. It is profound to recognize that despite and because of her efforts gender-based pay discrimination only became illegal in 2014 under Barack Obama and yet she worked tirelessly her whole life to enact such change through her very being and through her smart and compassionate legal actions.
I read that in the Jewish culture people of that faith who die on a certain day are considered great teachers. I believe she will be remembered as someone who led the way, was a light in a dark world but a constant shining light to show us the truth. And to have it extinguished in the middle of such a tumultuous and divisive world is all the more darkening but also all the more enlightening in its loss. Rest in power, Justice Ginsburg, and thank you.
Beautiful artwork by illustrator @libbyvanderploeg