- Shondrea Turnbull
The Power of the Notorious RBG
I haven’t written in a while, so I have not connected in this way for some time. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died last week, and the news of her death shocked the world, especially women. Her death has been on my heart and mind, so I was led to write. I must admit that I knew of Justice Ginsberg being on the Supreme Court and the overall impact on women’s rights, but I didn’t know her story. Her life story is what is so profound to me. Her struggles and triumphs, her perseverance despite the no’s told to her, is what captivates me. She was
unapologetically non-traditional and her authentic self, and that was enough to change the world. Was she the only one in the fight for women’s rights? No. Was her life perfectly laid out for her to grab opportunities at her feet? No. Was her family perfect? No. But she lived on and overcame health scares, external pressures to conform to society’s standards, and she left an indelible imprint on the world.
The Daily Skimm highlights some of the Notorious RBG’s landmark accomplishments nicely,
She championed women’s rights against discrimination on the basis of sex (see: United States v. Virginia and Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co).
She pushed for everyone’s right to vote (see: Shelby County v. Holder).
She supported the rights of those with disabilities (see: Olmstead v. LC), the right to access health care, including birth control (see: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores).
She defended a woman’s right to obtain an abortion (see: her confirmation hearing).
And she voted in favor of same-sex marriage (see: Obergefell v. Hodges).
Chief Justice John Roberts remembered her as someone of “historic stature” and “a tireless and resolute champion of justice.” Now, her death leaves a seat open on the Supreme Court.
So, thank you, RBG. Not only for all that you have accomplished but for the life that you lived. You are an example of a woman living holistically and living her Power Purpose. You embraced who you were, surrounded yourself with loved ones who respected you, had a partner who accepted you and pursued your calling with tenacity, grit, patience, and POWER. And from you following your purpose, despite the odds, millions of women worldwide benefit from it, and the legal precedents that were set will impact our world for generations to come.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, thank you for your life. I am grateful for the solemn reminder that change does not happen overnight. If one is committed to a goal, a mission, a purpose, then it does not change immediately. She taught us that instead, it happens one case at a time, all leading in the direction of the transformation of a mindset, a culture, and normative behavior. I am also moved to change my perspective on empowering women to focus on holistic health, a vehicle to pursue one’s Power Purpose.
Patience and Trust.
Last Sunday’s sermon reminded me to trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5, King James Version” This verse, combined with reflecting on the life of RBG, has me in a state of total surrender.
But what about YOU? How can you, too, be inspired by this beautiful life? What roadblocks have you faced that made you want to give up, throw in the towel and question your gift RBG is a living example of the phrase “delay is not denial.” She made continuous progress in her goals: this momentum was seen as a law student at Harvard and Columbia; balancing being a career wife and mom; spending decades educating the next generation on women’s rights and law; making history one case and one dissent at a time. It wasn’t until she was in her sixties that she was appointed to the Supreme Court; amazingly, she was in her eighties when her workouts went viral to today’s generation!
So, today I remind you to live your life unapologetically. The naysayers may not understand what you are doing or how you are doing it but stay strong and be strategic. Stay committed. Keep striving, pushing, and persevering. Eventually, when you look back, there will be a lifetime of victories, not that were handed to you, but it will be so much sweeter when you see all that you have overcome so that the world can be a better place after you are gone.
And so, it is.