But then I go back to work and I’m reminded of the next generation of wildly impressive, ambitious, compassionate, and engaged young people. I sit down and read an essay from a student who started a club at her school to plant more trees on campus – and 175 people showed up on the first day. And I feel better. And then I read an essay from a student who interviewed Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who represented Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade, for a school project. This student now wears a necklace with the year “1973” on it to remind herself daily of this landmark decision. And I feel even better.
One thing I keep hearing people say about RBG is that she worked hard to create the world she wanted to see in her own lifetime. She was thoughtful and strategic about the best way to create that world. She was particularly gracious and generous with the young people she hoped to inspire and guide. And she was tenacious, continuing forward even in the face of sexist professors and judges, insensitive colleagues, and even cancer. Looking from the outside, Ginsburg’s achievements feel superhuman – when did the woman eat or sleep? But there is a version and a level of that available to all of us.
So this week, we may not be operating at peak-RBG levels. But we can channel at least a little of her drive, her introspection, and her commitment to justice, and apply that to the people and circumstances in our own lives. It’s not enough, but it’s something. May her memory be a blessing.