We all need role models—people who inspire us and provide us with examples of how to live and be. These can be invisible mentors whom we never meet and only read about. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, is this kind of role model for me. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) is eighty-two years old and, as Gail Collins of the New York Times reports, she loves her work and, in spite of tremendous public pressure to retire, has no intention of “going anywhere any time soon.” I am not the only one who admires her for a determination to live her life on her own terms rather than succumb to social pressure to conform (and retire). She has developed a huge fan base, particularly among young women, complete with a blog and upcoming book about her entitled The Notorious RBG (a play on the name of the rapper Notorious B.I.G.). Let me count the ways that RBG inspires me:
- She is a pioneer and the first woman to do many of the things she did in her life.
- She lives her life on her own terms.
- She is physically fierce and works out at the gym with a trainer two times a week, along with daily stretches.
- She writes ferocious dissents against conservative decisions and is the leader of the Supreme Court’s dissident liberals.
- She is a survivor of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease.
- She has an overall energy level that is inspiring. For example, she explained to MSNBC’s Irin Carmon in an interview that the reason she dozed off during President Obama’s State of the Union address in January 2015 was that she had been up all night the night before writing an opinion. “My pen was hot,” she said by way of explanation.