A Heavenly Pair

The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg hit me hard. I thought she might go on forever, getting tinier and tinier until she just evaporated. We would never have to say good bye and she would always be with us in some molecular way.  Another such loss came to mind — Fred Rogers who supported and comforted so many through childhood, and in my case, beyond. “I like you just the way you are,” one of his standard good-byes on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, runs through my mind often when I am feeling flawed, inadequate or just blue.

Both have had a lot of coverage in recent months with movies, both documentary and fictionalized, of their lives. Perhaps that’s why they are so vivid for me, and why I link them in my mind. Their message to all of us, whether from the bench or from the neighborhood, was to treat each other  and ourselves with compassion and humanity, to fight injustice, and to strive to make the world — family, community, country, planet, however much you want to tackle — a better place. They modeled in their lives conviction, perseverance, humility, strength, curiosity and humor. I cannot think of a better recipe for being human.

 I don’t know if RBG was ever on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood TV show but I can imagine they would be great friends. I am not a religious person, but I sometimes fantasize about heaven. Perhaps the two of them are smiling and chatting, she in her workout sweats, he in his cardigan sweater, reminiscing about the tough times they witnessed and sending us – all of us —  compassion and encouragement for the crisis we face.


I leave you with their own words:

From Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

“Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. These just sap energy and waste time.”


From Fred Rogers:

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

And finally, this is a remarkable piece of theater. Fred Rogers argues for public television funding in front of congress, and wins!

16 thoughts on “A Heavenly Pair”

  1. A perfect reminder Lucy. Today I found the helper in YOU!!! Thank you :- )
    It takes courage to be the helper in these times.

  2. The baton has been passed, Lucy, and it’s up to us to maintain our moral compass and help others find theirs. Things may seem daunting but nothing is impossible. There are good people in the world. A lot of dim candies joined together can cast a bright light. We must continue to water the wonderful seeds of hope, faith, truth, fairness etc. that live within each of us! Xo

    1. You inspire me, Lucy, and you have such light within you. I am so grateful that you reached out many, many years ago to share your special connection with my book “Into the Canyon.” You followed up by pushing me online and so generously created my first website. And over the years, although we have never met in person, I have treasured our friendship. You are a model for us all, Lucy Perry. Your candle burns bright. I can see its light and feel its warmth from here! I send love and a big hug your way.

  3. Thank you, Lucy. Each morning I read things that either raise or lower my spirits. This lifted my spirits a lot. I will send to everyone I can think of.

  4. Thank you for the inspiration, Lucy. I think one of the gifts of our job is the opportunity to treat people with respect and kindness when they are expecting to be disrespected and belittled. So often I will be warned that a stakeholder is going to “be difficult and crazy” and within minutes it is clear that it is the situation that has been difficult and crazy–not the human. Some days I feel like my work is so insignificant when the world problems are so large. But then I am so inspired by leaders who have been pushed down and ignored but then given a little light they bloom and inspire all around them.
    Thank you for your inspiration today.

    1. Thank you, Kristi. So well said, and I have had the same experience mediating. And lord knows this time the situation is difficult and crazy-making for all of us. Always good to hear from you.

  5. Right on point as always and so beautifully said, Lucy. Goodness begets goodness if we’ll just let it.

  6. Hi Lucy,

    We will miss both of these outstanding people. Thank you for your remembrance, you always give me something to think about. Thank You!


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