Dear Friends,

 We pray you are safe and well.

 In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that in God’s economy of abundance, when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

Today's Meditation is a tribute to the heart values of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: even as a teenager she was writing about respecting one another and working together.

Her friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia modeled connecting with someone who had very different ways of looking at things than she did, yet they built a bond a friendship, working together and respecting each other that built a bridge over political divides. In our country that is so polarized today, how can we relate to each other with respect, trying to get inside each other's point of view and understand why something is important to the other so that we can work together to build a better way forward. This writing about 13 year old RBG first appeared in Brainpickings, a weekly newsletter written by Maria Popova.

 

We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in healthcare, in the workplace, in the Church--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

 

We hope and pray that you and your loved ones experience genuine peace of mind and heart, and remain in good health during this challenging time.

 

In this "Season of Ordinary Time" in the Church Year, may this be a time of peace, of healing and hope, of the infusion of joy in your life!

 

With our love and care,

 

Ron & Jean

 

MEDITATION 157: RBG teaches us about respecting one another and working together

 

 

RBG_MyOwnWords.jpg?fit=320%2C48713-Year-Old Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Prejudice, Its Antidote, and the Five Documents That Shaped Humanity

“Society has discovered discrimination as the great social weapon by which one may kill men without any bloodshed,” Hannah Arendt wrote in the 1940s as she grappled with Jewishness, the immigrant identity, and the refugee plight for belonging. In the same era, a young girl who would grow into another woman of titanic consequence to political thought and the advancement of justice took up the subject of prejudice, its antidote, and the pillars of human dignity in her middle school newspaper, of which she was the editor.

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933–September 18, 2020) had barely cusped from childhood to adolescence when she watched in awe as her greatest role model — Eleanor Roosevelt, with her floral dresses and her “spine as stiff as the steel girder of a skyscraper” — was appointed chairperson of the newly established United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

 

RuthBader_child.jpg?resize=680%2C1105

Ruth Bader as a child.

 

There is no overestimating the quickening of mind, the stir of soul, the immense swell of inspired idealism, which great role models can spark in the young. At a time when the world was reckoning with the savaging fusion of grief and shame in the wake of its most inhumane war, at an age when the human animal gets its first taste of that most dangerous and self-destructive substance of the spirit — cynicism — the thirteen-year-old future Supreme Court Justice chose the courage of idealism over the cowardice of cynicism as she considered humanity’s path forward toward a safer, saner, more equitable world in a June 1946 op-ed for her school paper, published under the byline “Ruth Bader, Grade 8B1” and included in My Own Words (public library) — the collection culled from a lifetime of writings, selected by Justice Ginsburg herself and her official biographers, Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams.

 

Reflecting on the “four great documents” that have shaped the world since its beginning — “great because of all the benefits to humanity which came about as a result of their fine ideals and principles”: the Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta, the 1689 Bill of Rights, and the American Declaration of Independence — the young Ruth writes:

 

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngNow we have a fifth great document, the Charter of the United Nations. Its purpose and principles are to maintain international peace and security, to practice tolerance, and to suppress any acts of aggression or other breaches of peace.

 

It is vital that peace be assured, for now we have a weapon that can destroy the world. We children of public school age can do much to aid in the promotion of peace. We must try to train ourselves and those about us to live together with one another as good neighbors for this idea is embodied in the great new Charter of the United Nations. It is the only way to secure the world against future wars and maintain an everlasting peace.

 

Later that month, as Hannah Arendt was examining the aftermath of the Holocaust and incubating the ideas that would become her epoch-making treatise on the only viable antidote to evil, Ruth picked up the subject in another op-ed, titled “One People” and published in the bulletin of her synagogue:

 

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe war has left a bloody trail and many deep wounds not too easily healed. Many people have been left with scars that take a long time to pass away. We must never forget the horrors which our brethren were subjected to in Bergen-Belsen and other Nazi concentration camps. Then, too, we must try hard to understand that for righteous people hate and prejudice are neither good occupations nor fit companions. Rabbi Alfred Bettleheim once said: “Prejudice saves us a painful trouble, the trouble of thinking.”

 

Echoing Bertrand Russell’s memorable admonition that “even the most orthodox of us may find himself in a minority some day, so that we all have an interest in restraining the tyranny of majorities,” she added:

 

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngNo one can feel free from danger and destruction until the many torn threads of civilization are bound together again. We cannot feel safer until every nation, regardless of weapons or power, will meet together in good faith, the people worthy of mutual association. There can be a happy world and there will be once again, when men create a strong bond towards one another, a bond unbreakable by a studied prejudice or a passing circumstance.