How do you disagree with those who hold opposing opinions? How do you express your own dissent?
This particular quote from Justice Ginsburg resonates with me given the current polarization of our nation, fueled by social media, inflammatory rhetoric, and sensationalized news. All of which begs the question:
“How can we agree to disagree without being so disagreeable?”
Justice Ginsburg was an example of a leader who changed hearts and minds through her even-keeled, well-structured arguments. She was known for her powerful, eloquent dissents and her cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor when delivering her arguments and decisions. Even her most vehement critics deeply respected her character and judicious approach.
Justice Ginsburg’s close friendship with Justice Scalia has been widely publicized, with many expressing their surprise at the “unlikely” friendship between two ideological opponents. But is it really such a surprise that two brilliant, successful people – both lovers of America and its Constitution- were good friends despite their ideological differences? Perhaps in this current political environment such a friendship feels like a fairy tale, but it wasn’t then and shouldn’t be now.
I’ve been blessed with a diverse group of friends from all over the world, representing a myriad of beliefs and cultures which are very different from my own. Their perspectives- their own personal dissents from what’s considered mainstream or traditional- have broadened my own perspective and introduced me to different ideas, approaches, beliefs, and ways of living. As much as I take comfort and joy in our commonalities, I am most enriched by our differences.
So, my friends, DISSENT in the spirit of the Notorious RBG. Dissent because it’s your right. Dissent because our world needs to hear your voice. Dissent to speak your truth and take a stand. Dissent with the future in mind. Dissent with RESPECT. Dissent with DIGNITY. Dissent with GRACE.