Justice RBG

From the essay "RBG: What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Means to Me – and to Democracy" by Martha Minnow (Harvard Law professor), in the Spring 2021 issue of the Carnegie Reporter:

Justice Ginsburg often recounted the advice given to her on her wedding day by her mother-in-law: "In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf." Justice Ginsburg would say she applied that maxim not only to marriage but also to her jobs: "I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade."

To act in each interaction with civility and respect, at work and with family, requires discipline, control, and the cultivation of kindness. For Justice Ginsburg, it seemed inextricably connected with separating disagreements or slights from the human before her, as well as a kind of perpetual effort – much like her reframing of apparent conceptual conflicts – to find grounds of commonality with others even while vigorously disagreeing. As so many look to Ginsburg's life for inspiration and encouragement, this particular, disciplined effort to cultivate respect and regard across differences offers a lesson especially relevant during our polarized, divisive time.

But that never involved giving an inch on her commitments to what, by her lights, justice and truth demand. Respect and civility were part of what she wanted herself and so she made them features of her daily life. Perhaps this too was for Justice Ginsburg part of the long game, for she saw the pursuit of justice as an enduring task of persuasion, ultimately through dialogue across institutions and among communities. ...

... and note those key words: civility, respect, kindness, reframing, commonality – steps to help others be their best, and likewise to help improve one's self, in "the long game".

(cf Tit for Tat (1999-10-31), Fair for All (1999-11-28), Human Nature (1999-12-05), Just Layers (2000-01-09), Ethical Fitness (2000-12-15), For Great Justice (2002-12-01), Roots of Morality (2009-04-03), Law School Inscription (2012-03-19), What Moderates Believe (2017-08-26), Mill on Perfectability (2017-12-23), Righteous Mind (2020-07-12), ...) - ^z - 2021-06-29