Of all the things I’m unable to support, one of the gravest, is people speaking ill of those just passed.
You can argue there are much worse things to do, and I can’t disagree. Yes, you can drop nuclear weapons on innocents (not implying this is something that was done, though arguments to that effect can be made). It’s possible to attempt to kill entire groups of people to the degree you’re able (this one can certainly be argued, and multiple times in history).
Just the two examples above are definitely indicative of the evil one might do
But I’ve said in past that, though it’s not as significant an infraction by any stretch of the imagination, using the time of a person’s passing to smear his or her character (deserving or not) should be one thing people ought not do.
Call me crazy, but there have been a plentitude of days since the passing of Adolph Hitler.
If today, you were to decide to inform the world of the terrible evil of which he was (rightly) accused, I see no problem with that.
On the other hand, had you learned his death had occurred today, I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think it would be reasonable to say, “Good riddance.” even considering all the bad he appears to have done.
The same is true for people like Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, only more so.
I may not have agreed with Justice Ginsburg’s politics, or many of her rulings in dissent or in the majority. We may not have seen eye to eye on any number of fronts. The fact is though, there are people who loved and revered her. On top of that, where I may not agree with her, I can respect that she felt she was working, in general, for the well being of others.
It’s with that spirit that I felt sad today, to hear of her passing.
Well known people are often either loved or hated. You may find some who are so resoundingly on one side or the other of that scale, as to be mostly considered only loved or hated.
Then again, there are others who may largely reside in the middle, not dearly loved, yet certainly far from being hated.
I would guess Justice Ginsburg was not one such person. My thought would be she inspired in many, love, in some others possibly hate, but even among those who didn’t love her, I suspect she was mostly not reviled.
Regardless how I or others felt about her though, I cannot count it anything but sad, that those who cared about her, and about whom she cared, must now continue through life without her present.
It’s for this reason, that I ask my fellows—Conservative and Liberal, Christian, Jewish, atheists or believers in something else, men and women—whoever they may be, to refuse to participate in the game of divisiveness on her passing.
I hope that on my day of leaving the Earth, no matter how well or little I’m known, those who loved me will be allowed to grieve my absence without such callousness.
“But the group that supports her did it where others are concerned!”, you may argue. My response is simple, “If others choose to be monsters or cruel people, do you truly think it proper to follow suit?”
I sincerely hope you can see your way to answering in the negative.
There’ll be time in the future to discuss the things she did correctly and wrongly, but honestly, she’s no longer among us. As such, I mostly question the value of such behavior.
Justice Ginsburg may seem to you to have been a wonderful person or a horrible one.
I submit, if she seems to have been the latter, for some time to come, you keep that fact to yourself.
For now and for a while, allow those to whom she very likely meant a great deal, to have their time of mourning and grieving.
If you honestly cannot do that, I’m not even sure we can relate. This is a thing of common decency in my mind.
I sought earlier today, to eulogize Justice Ginsburg when I learned of her passing, but I found I hadn’t the words to pay her the respect she deserves.
The result was an article of about half the size I would normally write.
That isn’t because I do or don’t like her, it’s because the words didn’t come as I would’ve liked.
Instead, I went onto social media, and there found people—some of whom certainly should’ve known better—bad-mouthing a woman, a human who had just left the planet.
It was that fact that inspired this piece.
I may not know Justice Ginsburg all that well, but I can tell you she sat on the highest court in the land for nearly thirty years. Like her or not, that’s no mean feat.
I’m sure there are many people who are able to tell you that her life is replete with such feats, I just don’t happen to be one of them.
If you’re not either, I have a suggestion, follow the advice found in the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”
I may not be able to say vaunted, stilted things about Justice Ginsburg, but I can offer my sincere condolences to those she leaves behind to whom she meant the world or to her, did likewise.
If you’re one of those people, please know that—where I cannot feel what you are now experiencing—I offer my most heartfelt feelings of sorrow for your loss.
I don’t know what Justice Ginsburg hoped for after this life, but I pray that she receives that, whatever it looks like, if not better. Not being the arbiter of such decisions, I can do no more. That said, as much as I can do, count on me now to seek.
For those who no longer have Justice Ginsburg around, who will miss her (possibly terribly). I hope that the memories are more sweet than bitter, and that in the course of time, the hole now present in your lives may be filled with those memories. Please know, some of us are still intent on civility and kindness.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.