In honor of one of my Super Sheros, today I wear pearls. Today I vote for justice for all Americans. Today I give thanks for the gift that is Ruth Bader Ginsberg. You have inspired and touched me deeply with your lifelong stand for justice, not for the privileged but the disempowered, disenfranchised, discounted among us. May your example continue to fuel a passionate fire in all our hearts to work steadfastly, in our pearls, for an ever more perfect Union.
My very first career goal was to become the head of the criminal justice system in Canada. I felt compelled to put a stop to the “throw away” practice of incarcerating our most disenfranchised citizens. I knew I was not cut out to be a lawyer, so I chose Social Work and went straight to the First Nations reservations to see if I could learn first hand what they needed to uplift and protect them from this fate. I made it to through two visits before collapsing in heart break, deep trauma and despair. I shifted gears and went to the prisons imagining that perhaps I could make a difference with those already locked up. Guess who I found? Not only my beloved First Nations men and women, but representatives from every fringe group in our culture. I was young, bold and imagined that I truly could make a difference. I finished my degree and lasted all of two years working directly in the Justice system I had so desperately wanted to change.
I did work in the corrections field after graduating, as a Probation and Parole Officer and do feel that I made a few dents in the archaic system that did so very little to protect young offenders from the hell of prison, and certainly did even less to help released inmates to become functioning members of society. Yet it was all too much for me. It felt like a hopeless cause to go up against the literal prison walls and the more invisible barriers in the collective and legislative acceptance of injustice that I witnessed all around me.
I made another shift and moved on to the path of changing the world through “inner transformation”. I devoted my life to my own personal awakening and have spent the past thirty years dedicated in my career as a personal and leadership development coach and teacher. I have had tremendous moments of fulfillment and gratification bearing witness to the illumination in individuals and especially leaders who have become “woke” to the realization that we are all in this together and justice, kindness, respect and well being has to be for all of us or it is really not for any of us.
I never stopped wishing for the quantum changes in our justice system and when Ruth came along I started cheering again. I saw what one persistent, little, wise woman could do and it thrilled me to see my early dreams find their champion in Justice Ginsberg. I recently read the biography Notorious RBG written by two wonderful, young women. I am blown away by the wit, tenacity and powerful insight that Justice Ruth applied to make such ground breaking changes in our laws.
I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her to surrender her life and her place in the High Court right before this election. I am certain she knew what would so swiftly happen within days of her departure.
What I also imagine is that now she sits on an even higher bench, with other giants of the cause of justice, and that there are means of influence that reach even farther into the psyche of humanity from those chambers than could have been affected while she was with us.
And so today I wear my collar and my pearls. I re claim my commitment to justice for all of us and I re dedicate my life to the path of awakening that I know leads to empowerment and upliftment for us all.
Deep, deep bows and blessings to you dear Ruth. It is too early to know the outcome of this historic day. It is never too early to give thanks for your life and your inspiration to continue to work for what is good and just, no matter what challenges we face.
I am so profoundly grateful to have lived with you here on earth for some time and to know that we continue, each in our own way, to serve the cause of justice for our world.
Your younger sister, Grace