Showing posts from September, 2020

RBG and Gentle Persuasion

Many people have noted the strength and effectiveness of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Her gentleness was also noteworthy.  She learned about this quality from others.  From her mother-in-law, she learned that “in every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little bit deaf.”  Ruth applied this advice in her interactions at work, not just in her marriage.  Her reason was practical; she said, “When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out.  Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”  She believed that collegiality was essential to the mission of the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Photographer: Steve Petteway / Public domain She learned about gentleness from some of her professors.   At Harvard Law School, Professor Benjamin Kaplan used the Socratic method in class “always to stimulate,” she said.   “Never to wound.” On the Supreme Court, despite their differences, Justice Scal

Harissa and happy memories

The summer of splendid isolation is what I call this time, in a deliberate effort to keep my spirits up.  In this year of horrors, my husband Tom and I are doing our part by staying home, not allowing the virus to find us.  The previous 22 summers of our lives we took ourselves and our computers to Paris, where we summered in the city. Even if we never return to Paris, that city has changed us in what seems like a thousand little ways.   We didn’t drive for those months in Paris, so not driving anywhere much now isn’t so strange for us.   In Paris, we learned how to live comfortably enough without air conditioning even when summer turns wickedly hot.   Tom loves the French bakery breads so much that I’ve now learned how to make a boule [1] that we’d be pleased to find in a Parisian bakery.   We experienced the full range of French cuisine, as well as so many other ethnic cuisines that can be found in the big city. In Paris, we came to love certain aspects of North African and Midd