In A Shot Of Optimism

One wears black robes while the other is best known for changing into his sweater and tennis shoes. One deals with law which affects the country and the other with a neighborhood—a fantasy one at that. One is a Jew, the other a Christian.

However, they have two big things (and probably more) in common. If you understand these two big commonalities, they will enrich your life, your business, and your world.

Ginsberg and Rogers both shared a laser-like focus on a purpose that informed their actions throughout their lives. The actual jobs they had may have varied, but their purpose, their WHY, shone through it all.

For Ginsberg, this purpose is about ensuring equal rights for all, especially women. She started the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Project. She was the first justice to marry a same-sex couple, and she has been the voice of the unseen throughout her distinguished careers as a professor and Justice on the Supreme Court. If you have any doubt, go see RBG, the film about her life. You will feel inspired and uplifted. Whether you agree with her positions or not, her life is instructive.

Fred Roger’s purpose was engaging with children around sometimes difficult issues, and modeling the values of kindness, understanding, and inclusion. During tense times, when some communities refused entrance to African American children at community swimming pools, Mr. Rogers invited the neighborhood postman to cool off his dark-skinned feet along with his own white feet in a wading pool.  Whether it was on radio, TV, or in Congressional hearings, Fred Rogers stood up for quality programs and education for children.

The second commonality was their willingness to engage in conversations with people who held ideas different from their own. Ginsberg and the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, were famous “buddies” on the court, sharing a love for opera and the law in spite of their different and sometimes contradictory views of its application.

Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister but in the recent film about his life, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” we understand how he allowed his purpose to move him beyond the pulpit and the church, to create connections and collaborations with people.

Perhaps the greatest take away here is how successful they both were in their lives. Their success was not measured strictly by financial wealth, but by the positive impact their work had on the lives of others.

Are you clear about your purpose in the world?
Are you aligning your actions with that purpose?
Are you willing to connect with people outside your “natural sphere”?
Are you answering the call for both clarity and integrity in your business and life?

Tell me about YOUR purpose, and how you are manifesting it in the world today!

Until next Tuesday,



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