Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a book called My Own Words. In advance of it, she offered her own “advice for living.” Here are some of the best nuggets of wisdom she has to offer to help raise a great daughter or to be successful in general.
1. Foster A Love Of Reading
“No matter what you hope for your child, or what she hopes for herself, there’s no better thing you can impart than a love of reading. It’s truly a passport to explore the world, barely discriminates between rich and poor, and can expand and train her mind.”
She credits her love of reading to her mother who died of ovarian cancer when she was younger.
2. Encourage Them To Seek Out Great Teachers
“Many of us can remember one or two teachers who made a real difference in our lives.”
She cites two important teachers in her life: a college professor and a law school professor.
3. Encourage Them To Turn A Deaf Ear When Needed
“I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”
4. Teach Them To Be Independent
Ginsburg said her mother:
“… Counseled me constantly to ‘be independent,’ able to fend for myself, whatever fortune might have in store for me.”
5. Encourage Them To Set Aside Their Worries–And Simply Achieve
When Ginsburg went to law school, only 3 percent of attorneys were women. There were no laws prohibiting employers from firing women who became pregnant. She said:
“Stop worrying, and find a way to manage.”
6. Teach Them That They Can Make Their Own Luck
“I was … alive and a lawyer when, for the first time in United States history, it became possible to urge, successfully, before legislatures and courts, the equal-citizenship stature of women and men as a fundamental constitutional principle.”
7. Pray That They Marry The Right Person
“I have had more than a little bit of luck in life, but nothing equals in magnitude my marriage to Martin D. Ginsburg. I do not have words adequate to describe my super smart, exuberant, ever-loving spouse. … Marty coached me through the birth of our son, he was the first reader and critic of articles, speeches and briefs I drafted, and he was at my side constantly, in and out of the hospital, during two long bouts with cancer. And I betray no secret in reporting that, without him, I would not have gained a seat on the Supreme Court.”
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