I come to you with a heavy, heavy heart today. Do you feel it?
The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought me to tears multiple times in the last 24 hours. Tears of thankfulness for a woman who paved the way for so many girls after her. Tears of brokenness for the hearts of the helpless around our country. Tears of frustration for compassionless, corrupt leaders of our country. Tears of tiredness from endless bad news—a raging pandemic, over 20 storms obliterating the southeast, raging wildfires in California, social unrest and injustice for our BIPOC brothers and sisters. I am burdened and I wish I had the power to mend every broken heart. To let every hurting person I know how much they are loved. How much their voice and their work is needed.
I sat down to write out my usual meal plan for the weekend and my heart just couldn’t do it. Because honestly, right now we don’t really need another meal plan. We need hope.
For hope today, I’m turning to Ruth’s words herself. In an interview with Irin Carmon aired on the Rachel Maddow Show, Ruth was asked “what would you like to be remembered for?”
Here’s her response.
“Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”
I may not be a Supreme Court Justice, but I am a woman with a talent to do a very specific work—to write and teach and tell the truth. I may not be on national TV or making decisions that will affect millions of lives, but I am a major part of my immediate communities. My actions impact my work colleagues, friends, family, readers…even grocery clerks or owners of the bodega around the corner.
No one can tell us what happens next—what will unfold in the next chapter of this horror story we call 2020.
But I do know that we can strive to leave the same legacy as Ruth. To use our talents to the very best of our abilities. And to love, care, and wipe away the tears of the people in the societies immediately surrounding us.
Bring your talent to the world, my friends. Whether you’re a cook, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a nurse, a nanny, a shop manager, a teacher, an Uber driver, a mom, a waitress, a writer. Your talent and your work is needed. It may not feel like much, but I promise you, your work in the society around you is valuable. Be a beacon of light in your community, just like how Ruth was to us all.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.