With Women’s Day coming up on March 8th and March being Women’s History Month, I thought it is an important time to highlight the contributions of women in history and contemporary society.
And over the last year, I’ve been learning about so much about women’s rights, their contributions to society, how far they’ve come along, and how much further we need to go.
I’m so thankful for all the women that have come before me. They have paved the way for me to live a life where I am able choose to do the things I want and have the basic rights we’re all entitled to. And I think it’s so important to highlight the women who have made a difference in history as it opens up that world of possibilities to young girls.
So today I wanted to share some life lessons from Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the cofounders of Lustre.net, an online community whose mission is to redefine retirement for modern career women by confronting outdated concepts and defying stereotypes.
About Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passed last year in September, but it was through her passing, that I had a chance to learn about the work she did that helped people across all demographics.
Ruth was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in September 202o.
She spent a lifetime flourishing in the face of adversity, breaking the stereotypes of women in her day and fighting against gender discrimination and unified the liberal block of the court.
Known as ‘Notorious RBG’, she paved the way for women’s equality—from the right to sign a mortgage without a man to the right to have a bank account without a male co-signer, and even the right to have a job without being discriminated against based on gender.
She truly was an inspiration and powerful voice for women leaves us with invaluable wisdom.
Life lessons from Ruth Bader Ginsburg
to inspire your own life
1. Never give up on what you want
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was rejected, again and again, including by New York law firms. But just think—if she had been employed in a law firm, she likely never would have ascended to the Supreme Court. And that was her dream job.
2. Be strategic
Figure out where you want to go, and then, before you start, figure out how best to get there. Ruth Bader Ginsburg did that with her litigation strategy. Showing how men were hurt by sex discrimination was a more effective strategy than having only women plaintiffs.
3. Be human
Separate your advocacy from your relationships. And do have relationships. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s best friend was her fellow justice Antonin Scalia. She disagreed with him, fiercely, about pretty much every legal point.
But they loved each other, and bonded over music, and over dinners prepared by RBG’s husband. It was not a transactional relationship; it was a human relationship.
4. Work hard
And important life lesson from Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that you must earn your victories. Ruth Bader Ginsburg started working hard when she was a new lawyer, and she never stopped.
Look at the honor guard at the Supreme Court for her memorial, composed of people who worked as her clerks, responding to 2 a.m. faxes and constant demands for more precise analysis, as long as she lived. They undoubtedly loved her for her humanity, but they also surely loved her because she made them better lawyers.
5. Be precise. Words matter.
The practice of law is a combination of analysis and communication. Communication is more effective when it is spare and clear. RBG’s writing was crisp and muscular. Any reader got her point.
6. Presence matters
Justice Ginsburg always looked professional and elegant in her Armani suits and her long black robes. She was all brilliant lawyer and all powerful woman. And, like Barbara Bush with her faux pearls, RBG sent signals with her decorative collars.
7. Find a good partner
Her “Marty” was legendary—an attorney in his own right. He was never threatened by a strong woman and always stood by her side.
8. Advocate with humor
As she did when becoming a little deaf, or remarking that the Supreme Court will have a sufficient number of women only when there are nine.
9. Find something outside of your job to love
One of the lessons from Ruth Bader Ginsburg I value most is having a passion outside of work. Of course we all want to succeed, but having and outlet for creativity is so important. She had a great love opera, and lost herself in music.
10. Work out
RBG, the documentary, showed RBG working out very strenuously. Like everything else she did, she went all out. If you do the same your lives will be richer for it.
I hope you found some great takeaways from these lessons from Ruth Bader Ginburg’s life and can apply them to your own.
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