When it comes to coping with the long hours and the hard work of being a Supreme Court justice, thousands of hours of sitting are all that are given a most memorable person.
Not to mention the way they undergo light (or heavy) footsteps which may linger for months.So the question for us all, let us not lose. How will we be able to survive after 15, 20, 30 years, compared to those long hours that are required to consistently make our mark on society?
All this comes from our beloved author and law professor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This week, Ms. Ginsburg wrote the following life-affirming, life-changing column for The Huffington Post on how not to be defeated after 15 years of unending work.
After experiencing 50 years on the Supreme Court and providing detailed, insightful, thought-provoking speech making, my epiphanies that come from experience rarely include frustrations that are life-ending.
But the sheer stress of the work, the hours that it takes to reach your milestones, the concentration that you must remain within when your creativity and patience are exhausted and the temptation that must be resisted with compassion and remorse are all life affirming experiences for me. This sense of being and understanding that to stay abreast of the ruling and repercussions, to have your mind fully on doing everything that is within your control and not stray from it has been a vital part of my coping mechanism.
I am not yet at the apex of my career, but I have been taking evening classes to maintain a strength of stamina, and those lessons have helped me improve my work life.
Thus, I am grateful for so many lessons that have been shaped by my life experiences. The authors Eric Foner, Steven Pinker, John Taylor, Lourdes Kuffner, Harriet Zagoria, Gary Zagoria, Douglas E. Budnick, and Bertie Verity contributed to these passages.
Simply put, I am not able to take on even a first-class project while my mind is playing within itself. While I am grateful for the new world view I gained from the experience of 20 years, I am also ready to retire from everything I have, both individually and professionally.
So there you have it. I now have a combination of tricks up my sleeve that I think a lot of people find hard to embrace — like the ability to slip into the world knowing that the pitfalls are less much worse than you think.
Then again, those behaviors are by no means a death sentence — they are just the kinds of the actions people don’t want to take because they inevitably result in self-inflicted injuries.
After thinking about my decision to retire this week, I want to thank the people I think I am helping now with that behavior that is so completely at odds with the best philosophy that I had about myself before I began this office.
For all my 10 years with the Supreme Court, I have had the chance to experience such great people… literally and figuratively. One person in particular that I was blessed to meet was Justice Samuel Alito, who I came to know from the attacks on Justice Scalia in the 90s when he was American ambassador to the United Nations. I had his blessing that he would become a Supreme Court justice, and we went to the chief justice’s mansion to celebrate.One moment I have to admit, I loved the sort of post-the-Scalia skepticism that he displayed and it is a rare person who still has the special spirit to perceive someone else’s vision. But then the next minute when he actually agreed to be a justice, I joined the cause and he was moved to anger and disbelief at the loss of his former teammate. I’m glad he was so moved and delighted by my insistence that he would take that appointment seriously, but I was glad that I wasn’t in his shoes. Justice Alito was trying to be both a mentor and a friend, and who can argue with that?
But back to that maturing philosophy. I’ll stick with that attitude now because I believe it will be the same with me when I choose to retire from the Supreme Court — at least for at least some of my career.— Ruth Bader Ginsburg