I’m so sorry that we’ve lost the notorious RBG. And I’m so grateful for the work that she did to make a more level playing field for all. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a role model for so many of us, and now we need to carry on without her. Musician: are you ready to be notorious?
Are you ready to step into becoming who you are meant to be, as Ruth did?
To help, here are some choice quotes of hers that apply especially well to musicians. At a time when we all need inspiration, here’s a dose of the notorious RBG:
First of all, there’s the music she couldn’t live without:
Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Don Giovanni.” Did you know that early in life she dreamed of becoming an opera singer? I hope, wherever she is now, that she’s hearing opera—and singing along.
But sometimes, she found that not hearing was the better way to cope.
Ruth said, “Every now and then it helps to be a little deaf…That advice has stood me in good stead. Not simply in dealing with my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues.” Wise woman.
On creating change—being committed for the long haul.
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” This reminds me that overwhelm is a choice. Instead, focus on the NOW: what’s the next step you need to take?
Consider your own legacy—to live for more than yourself.
Ruth offered this: “If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself.” This begs the question: How are you getting past your ego and your own self-interest?
On dealing with our own reactions . . .
“Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. They just zap energy and waste time.”
It’s so easy to let our own emotions run our lives. But instead we can learn how to feel our feelings and choose to focus on what matters most.
On equality, RBG said:
“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
“People ask me sometimes… ‘When will there be enough women on the court?’ And my answer is, ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked, but there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”
WOW. Thank you, Ruth.
On how we interpret challenges . . .
“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.”
In hindsight we see how much we grow from the difficult times. We need to remind ourselves that we will find a way forward—let’s look to find the most positive path for our journey together.
Musicians: How do you want to be remembered?
RBG wanted to be thought of as . . .
“Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.'” Amen.
In what ways are you, musician, ready to be notorious?
Think what RBG would advise you to focus on this week. How might you make her proud?
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