“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.”
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
You have more than likely heard the phrase “you need to turn a blind eye” which essentially means to pretend not to notice something or “turn the other cheek” which means not to fight back. Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg had one of her own in saying that every now and then it helps to be a little deaf. What she meant by this is that there will be times when it is best that we ignore negative things said by others.
Ginsburg was known for her tenacity and firmness as an Associate Justice as she spent a lifetime flourishing in the face of adversity fighting against gender discrimination and unified the liberal block of the court. She made sure to let others know that major social change should not come from the courts, but from Congress and other legislatures and did whatever she could to ensure this.
I am sure people would try to persuade her not to fight so hard against gender discrimination but this is where she listened to her own advice and was a little deaf and ignore her naysayers. I think her message is for us to do the same. If there is something we believe in and feel it is worth fighting for, whether it be for ourselves or for others then it is worth it. Ginsburg had the ability to understand social and ethical norms while taking on the perspective of and empathizing with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I believe we should do the same because once we take the time to understand others we better understand ourselves and what we are all fighting for: to be treated as equals because we are; no matter our gender, ethnicity or sexual preference.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?