Scranton Column: A remarkable life
Worthy of attention? Usually reserved for the world of sports or some out of the ordinary accomplishment. Generally something remarkable is fairly ordinary in our world of overused and hyped-up verbiage. Too often people who live ordinary lives are remembered as being something or doing something that really wasn’t worthy of remarkable status. Sounds harsh but I’ll be the first to admit that while I think what I do each day is important, I don’t think it’s fair to describe it as remarkable.
Sometimes people are worthy of the status but because of our increasingly hardened and obtuse culture; the accolade doesn’t get much traction. Like her, love her, respect her, or vilify her; Ruth Bader Ginsburg led an incredibly remarkable life. Say what you want from whatever political perspective you find yourself, there is no question that her life is an example of someone who will be remembered.
Maybe you disagreed with her particular judicial approach or decisions but there is absolutely no doubt that she will be remembered for being one of the most influential people of our lifetime. Even our President, who likely disagreed with her the most, commented that she was a remarkable woman who led a remarkable life.
What is most poignant about how she is being described is how much of her remarkability was the result of just doing her job and staying true to herself. In a world of politicians and people whose views can best be described as “chameleon esque”, she was remarkably easy to predict because she had a solid foundation upon which she built her beliefs and did not stray.
There were ways that she explained things and prescribed solutions that sometimes infuriated me but it was easy to understand her perspective if you listened to her. As I tell my students often, “just because you listen to someone, doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.” In a world that seems to yell and scream more and more, it’s too bad we couldn’t all listen more, make our decisions, and live the same way as people who are described as remarkable.
I know the days ahead are going to be consumed with how she will be replaced but for just a brief time I thank those who, no matter their particular viewpoint, recognized the life of someone who, by her example, shows each of us how to live a life worthy of being described as remarkable.
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