Sotomayor Quotes

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Although wisdom is built on life experiences, the mere accumulation of years guarantees nothing.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
People who live in difficult circumstances need to know that happy endings are possible. Page 1.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Good people can do bad things, make bad decisions. It doesn't make them bad people.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I have come to believe that in order to thrive, a child must have at least one adult in her life who shows her unconditional love, respect, and confidence.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can't imagine someone else's point of view.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
...you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. The real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
You can't say: This much love is worth this much misery. They're not opposites that cancel each other out; they're both true at the same time.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Sometimes, even if there was no useful advice to give, I saw that listening still helped.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
... a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence. Page 115
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Don't mistake politeness for lack of strength.
Sonia Sotomayor
Dressing badly has been a refuge much of my life, a way of compelling others to engage with my mind, not my physical presence. Page. 283
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
One thing has not changed: to doubt the worth of minority students' achievement when they succeed is really only to present another face of the prejudice that would deny them a chance to even try. It is the same prejudice that insists all those destined for success must be cast from the same mold as those who have succeeded before them, a view that experience has already proven a fallacy.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Tamping down my emotions as the justice spoke to the audience, I looked over at a pair of handsome young Korean American boys—Sotomayor’s adopted nephews—squirming in their Sunday best. They would take for granted that their aunt was on the U.S. Supreme Court, shaping the life of a nation—as would kids across the country. Which was fine. That’s what progress looks like.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
If you held to principle so passionately, so inflexibly, indifferent in the particulars of circumstance - the full range of what human beings, with all their flaws and foibles, might endure or create - if you enthroned principle above even reason, weren't you then abdicating the responsibilities of a thinking person?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background, not lack of aptitude or application as I feared. Page 135
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I felt like everyones second choice, which is why a compliment could catch me off guard. Page 106
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I would warn any minority student today against the temptations of self-segregation: take support and comfort from your own group as you can, but don’t hide within it.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Quiet pragmatism, of course, lacks the romance of vocal militancy. But I felt myself more a mediator than a crusader. My strengths were reasoning, crafting compromises, finding the good and the good faith on both sides of an argument, and using that to build a bridge. Always, my first question was, what's the goal? And then, who must be persuaded if it is to be accomplished? A respectful dialogue with one's opponent almost invariably goes further than a harangue outside his or her window. If you want to change someone's mind, you must understand what need shapes his or her opinion. To prevail, you must first listen.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
In my experience when a friend unloaded about a boyfriend or spouse, the listener soaked up the complaint and remembered it long after the speaker had forgiven the offense.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I think that even someone who got into an institution through affirmative action could prove they were qualified by what they accomplished there. Page 188
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Books are keys that unlock the wisdom of yesterday and open the door to tomorrow
Sonia Sotomayor (Turning Pages: My Life Story)
If Republicans care about the Constitution, they have to find the courage to say no or lose their constituencies and ultimately their cause. They have to say no to the anticonstitutional views of Supreme Court nominees such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor and to un-Constitutional executive orders by presidents like Barack Obama, and that means they have to be prepared to obstruct them by any constitutional means necessary. Nor should they be cowed by a corrupt anti-Republican press. No candidate was ever vilified more by the media than Donald Trump, and he won.
David Horowitz (Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America)
There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unsuspected strengths. It doesn’t always, of course: I’ve seen life beat people down until they can’t get up. But I have never had to face anything that could overwhelm the native optimism and stubborn perseverance I was blessed with.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I will be judged as a human being by what readers find here. There are hazards to openness, but they seem minor compared with the possibility that some readers may find comfort, perhaps even inspiration, from a close examination of how an ordinary person, with strengths and weaknesses like anyone else, has managed an extraordinary journey.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I war running back to the house in Mayaguez with a melting ice cone we called a piraqua running sweet and sticky down my face and arms, the sun in my eyes, breaking through clouds and glinting off the rain-soaked pavement and dripping leaves. I was running with joy, an overwhelming joy that arose simply from gratitude for the fact of being alive. Along with the image, memory carried these words from a child's mind through time: I am blessed. In this life I am truly blessed.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
You’ve got to get your education! It’s the only way to get ahead in the world.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There are no bystanders in life [...] Our humanity makes us each a part of something greater than ourselves.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
It seems obvious now: the child who spends school days in a fog of semi-comprehension has no way to know her problem is not that she is slow-witted.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I couldn’t even tell if I had any sadness of my own, because I was so full of Abuelita’s sadness.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Yo tenia quince anos cuando comprendi por que fracasaban las cosas: las personas no podian imaginar el punto de vista de los demas.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Looking out at that crowd, I imagined those who had not yet arrived, minority students who, in years to come, would make this multitude of faces, the view from where I now stood, a little more various. If they could have heard me, I would have confided in them: As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There is indeed something deeply wrong with a person who lacks principles, who has no moral core. There are, likewise, certainly values that brook no compromise, and I would count among them integrity, fairness, and the avoidance of cruelty. But I have never accepted the argument that principle is compromised by judging each situation on its own merits, with due appreciation of the idiosyncrasy of human motivation and fallibility.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The persistence or failure of human relationships cannot be predicted by any set of objective or universal criteria. We are all limited, highly imperfect beings, worthy in some dimensions, deficient in others, and if we would understand how any of our connections survive, we would do well to look first to what is good in each of us.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in heaven. To succeed in this world, you have to be known to people.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The truth is that since childhood I had cultivated an existential independence. It came from perceiving the adults around me as unreliable, and without it I felt I wouldn’t have survived. I cared deeply for everyone in my family, but in the end I depended on myself.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There are things you may know in your heart for a long while without admitting them to conscious awareness, until, unexpectedly, something triggers an inescapable realization.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I've known how to control my anger, but that doesn't mean I don't feel it. Page 190
Sonia Sotomayor
El verdadero amor en el alma está, que no en el cuerpo; y el que amare el cuerpo con el cuerpo, no puede decir que es amor, sino apetito.
María de Zayas Sotomayor
The challenges I have faced—among them material poverty, chronic illness, and being raised by a single mother—are not uncommon, but neither have they kept me from uncommon achievements.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
the "criminal justice system accomplishes nothing we think of as its purpose," Sotomayor told her audience. "We think we're keeping people safe from criminals. We're just making worse criminals.
Emily Bazelon (Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration)
Few aspects of my work in the DA’s Office were more rewarding than to see what I had learned in childhood among the Latinos of the Bronx prove to be as relevant to my success as Ivy League schooling was.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
[Sonia Sotomayor's] opinion echoed with her personal story: 'Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: 'I do not belong here.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
When RBG fretted over the first dry opinion the chief justice assigned her, O'Connor gave her a pep talk. As RBG read that opinion on the bench, O'Connor, who had dissented in the case, passed her a note. "This is your first opinion for the Court," she had written. "It is a fine one, I look forward to many more." Remembering the comfort that note gave her on such a nerve wracking day, RBG did the same for the next two women to join the court, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Irin Carmon (Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
She did not retreat in humiliation. She did not turn bitter. She developed her own mantra: 'How am I not going to let this beat me?' In later years she would tell students, 'You have to get up and try again. That's sometimes really hard to do, when you get embarrassed over failure.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
In the end, [Sonia] Sotomayor had been in the right place at the right time for the right president. She had the tickets and the people: Princeton, Yale, Morgenthau, Calabresi. Fortified by the dreams of her mother, her personal smarts, and intense determination, Sotomayor had defied predictions from her youth.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
My Spanish was so deficient that I wasn’t even pronouncing my own name properly. She called me on it. “You have the most regal of Spanish names,” she said. “Don’t you ever let anybody mispronounce it. You are Sonia Sotomayor—Soh-toh-mah-yor—and anything less is disgraceful. Say it correctly, and wear it with pride.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Yet such authenticity was part of [Sonia Sotomayor's] attraction. And she acknowledged what few other prominent figures revealed: she sometimes felt awkward and out of place. In her speeches, she talked about fighting the fear of missteps and failure. 'Like yourself. Like who you are,' she advised young people trying to make their way in the world.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
That tide of insecurity would come in and out over the years, sometimes stranding me for a while but occasionally lifting me just beyond what I thought I could accomplish. Either way, it would wash over the same bedrock certainty: ultimately, I know myself. At each stage of my life, I've had a pretty clear notion of my needs and of what I was ready for.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
DO WORK!
Scott Sotomayor
[A]lthough wisdom is built on life experience, the mere accumulation of years guarantees nothing.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The tatters of old stories are tangled, weathered, muted by long-held silences that succeeded loud feuds, and sometimes no doubt re-dyed a more flattering color.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The closeness that I share now with my mother is deeply felt, but we learned it slowly and with effort, and for fear of the alternative.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
In the end, as I usually do, I trusted my instincts, although I was a bit surprised where they were leading me.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
If you want to change someone’s mind, you must understand what need shapes his or her opinion.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The Latino community anchored me, but I didn't want it to isolate me from the full extent of what Princeton had to offer, including engagement with the larger community. Page 148
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Every people has a past, but the dignity of a history comes when a community of scholars devotes itself to chronicling and studying that past.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
With every friend I’ve known, in every situation I’ve encountered, I have found something to learn.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
It would take me most of my life to feel remotely put together, and it’s still an effort.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I have come to believe that in order to thrive, a child must have at least one adult in her life who shows her
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in heaven.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls. SPRING
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
[T]he habit of living as if in the shadow of death has remained with me, and I consider that, too, a gift.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
[T]he more critical lesson I learned that day is still one too many kids never figure out: don't be shy about making a teacher of any willing party who knows what he or she is doing.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
A line of reasoning could persuade, but so could a sequence of feelings. Constructing a chain of logic was one thing; building a chain of emotions required a different understanding. I
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Before Sonia Sotomayor's appointment, a total of 110 justices had been named to the United States Supreme Court since its 1789 creation. All but 4 of these justices were white men, reflecting the traditional power base of the nation. Beginning with African American Thurgood Marshall in 1967, the groundbreakers navigated the public expectations and internal rituals of a tradition bound institution.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
[Sonia Sotomayor] maintained tight bonds with her Hispanic community. On the May 25, 2009, evening that President Obama had called to offer her the nomination, he had asked her to promise him two things: 'The first,' she recalled, 'was to remain the person I was and the second was to stay connected to my community. I said to him that those were two easy promises to make, because those two things I could not change.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
Even before the publication of her bestseller, [Sonia] Sotomayor was a different breed: approachable, human, like the people who came out to greet her. Her book brought her to another level of celebrity and public adulation. She wrote about her 'darker experiences' growing up. She wrote that she had a pudgy nose, a mop of hair, and that it would take most of her adult life to feel pulled together. She became an everywoman with everywoman doubts.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
Conservative critics of Obama seized on his aspiration for 'empathy,' declaring it an invitation to judicial activism - as if empathy could not coexist with impartiality - and later made it a subtext of their confirmation complaints.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
Her rocking chair of carved wood and woven cane tilted between this world and another that was beyond imagining, wafting scents of talcum and medicinal tea, auras of lace-edged santos whose eyes rolled up to a heaven too close for comfort.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
For extra measure, [Daniel Patrick] Moynihan put another 'hold' on two other GOP favorites for federal courts of appeals, prompting White House counsel [Boyden] Gray made sure that [George H.] Bush knew that Moynihan had been blocking action on the appeals court nominations 'to extract a district court judge from us,' and he advised the president to sign the Sotomayor nomination but hold off making it official until the administration had gotten word that the two appeals court nominees were confirmed.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
With every friend I've known, in every situation I've encountered, I have found something to learn. From a task as simple as boiling water, you can learn a worthwhile lesson. There is no experience that can't avail something useful, be it only the discipline to manage adversity.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Y como son los hombres los que presiden en todo, jamás cuentan los malos pagos que dan, sino los que les dan; y si bien lo miran, ellos cometen la culpa, y ellas siguen tras su opinión, pensando que aciertan; que lo cierto es que no hubiera malas mujeres si no hubiera malos hombres.
María de Zayas Sotomayor (Relatos de Mara de Zayas)
All the Democrats who voted for him [Clarence Thomas] were from the South, the opposite of what had happened in 1967, when Southern Democratic senators opposed [Thurgood] Marshall. By 1991, blacks had become a core constituency of Southern senators, and Democrats feared alienating them with a vote against Thomas.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
[John H.] Sununu promised Republicans that the relatively obscure [David H.] Souter would be a 'home run for conservatives,' but this prediction could not have been more wrong. Souter ended up being one of the liberal members of the Court during the late 1990s and the 2000s, which prompted a 'no more Souters' mantra among conservatives.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire. That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There were no actual villains, just inertia. The administration genuinely wanted more diversity for reasons of its image as well as fairness, notwithstanding the cranky alumni letters in The Daily Princetonian. ... Hiring committees had not a clue where to look for or how to attract suitable candidates. And so, though a high-level recruitment plan existed on paper, there was only foot-dragging and defensive excuse making.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
De la misma manera que a la mujer falsa, inconstante, liviana y sin reputación no se le ha de dar nombre de mujer, sino de bestia fiera, así el hombre cuerdo, bien intencionado, y que sabe en los mismos vicios aprovecharse de la virtud y nobleza a que está obligado, no será comprendido en mi reprensión; mas hablo de los que, olvidados de sus obligaciones, hacen diferente de lo que es justo; estos tales no serán hombres, sino monstruos.
María de Zayas Sotomayor (Relatos de Mara de Zayas)
[Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, the former women's rights advocate, made sure the nation knew she was there, even if alone. When President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time in February 2009, Ginsburg was recovering from pancreatic cancer and chemotherapy treatments, but she dragged herself to the evening event and sat with her brethren. She said she wanted to make sure that people watching the nationally televised address saw that the Supreme Court had at least one woman.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
During Scalia's confirmation hearing, so many senators brought up Italian connections that Senator Howell Heflin, a Democrat from Alabama, told the nominee, 'I believe that almost every Senator that has an Italian American connection has come forward to welcome you...I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that my great-great-grandfather married a widow who was married first to an Italian American." Getting Heflin's joke, Scalia shot back, 'Senator, I have been to Alabama several times, too.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become—whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm—her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than an inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, “Yes, someone like me can do this.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Quiet pragmatism, of course, lacks the romance of vocal militancy. But I felt myself more a mediator than a crusader. My strengths were reasoning, crafting compromises, finding the good and the good faith on both sides of an argument, and using that to build a bridge. Always, my first question was, what’s the goal? And then, who must be persuaded if it is to be accomplished? A respectful dialogue with one’s opponent almost invariably goes further than a harangue outside his or her window. If you want to change someone’s mind, you must understand what need shapes his or her opinion. To prevail, you must first listen—that eternal lesson of Forensics Club!
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Neither is a memoir the same as a biography, which aims for the most objective, factual account of a life. A memoir, as I understand it, makes no pretense of denying its subjectivity. Its matter is one person’s memory, and memory by nature is selective and colored by emotion. Others who participated in the events I describe will no doubt remember some details differently, though I hope we would agree on the essential truths. I have taken no liberties with the past as I remember it, used no fictional devices beyond reconstructing conversations from memory. I have not blended characters, or bent chronology to convenience. And yet I have tried to tell a good story.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
She hadn’t always been obsessed with babies. There was a time she believed she would change the world, lead a movement, follow Dolores Huerta and Sylvia Mendez, Ellen Ochoa and Sonia Sotomayor. Where her bisabuela had picked pecans and oranges in the orchards, climbing the tallest trees with her small girlbody, dropping the fruit to the baskets below where her tías and tíos and primos stooped to pick those that had fallen on the ground, where her abuela had sewn in the garment district in downtown Los Angeles with her bisabuela, both women taking the bus each morning and evening, making the beautiful dresses to be sold in Beverly Hills and maybe worn by a movie star, and where her mother had cared for the ill, had gone to their crumbling homes, those diabetic elderly dying in the heat in the Valley—Bianca would grow and tend to the broken world, would find where it ached and heal it, would locate its source of ugliness and make it beautiful. Only, since she’d met Gabe and become La Llorona, she’d been growing the ugliness inside her. She could sense it warping the roots from within. The cactus flower had dropped from her when she should have been having a quinceañera, blooming across the dance floor in a bright, sequined dress, not spending the night at her boyfriend’s nana’s across town so that her mama wouldn’t know what she’d done, not taking a Tylenol for the cramping and eating the caldo de rez they’d made for her. They’d taken such good care of her. Had they done it for her? Or for their son’s chance at a football scholarship? She’d never know. What she did know: She was blessed with a safe procedure. She was blessed with women to check her for bleeding. She was blessed with choice. Only, she hadn’t chosen for herself. She hadn’t. Awareness must come. And it did. Too late. If she’d chosen for herself, she would have chosen the cactus spines. She would’ve chosen the one night a year the night-blooming cereus uncoils its moon-white skirt, opens its opalescent throat, and allows the bats who’ve flown hundreds of miles with their young clutching to their fur as they swim through the air, half-starved from waiting, to drink their fill and feed their next generation of creatures who can see through the dark. She’d have been a Queen of the Night and taught her daughter to give her body to no Gabe. She knew that, deep inside. Where Anzaldúa and Castillo dwelled, where she fed on the nectar of their toughest blossoms. These truths would moonstone in her palm and she would grasp her hand shut, hold it tight to her heart, and try to carry it with her toward the front door, out onto the walkway, into the world. Until Gabe would bend her over. And call her gordita or cochina. Chubby girl. Dirty girl. She’d open her palm, and the stone had turned to dust. She swept it away on her jeans. A daughter doesn’t solve anything; she needed her mama to tell her this. But she makes the world a lot less lonely. A lot less ugly.  
Jennifer Givhan (Jubilee)
he was teaching the common-law rule against perpetuities, which limits how far into the future a will can control a line of inheritance.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I SPENT EIGHT YEARS at Blessed Sacrament School, far more than half my life by the time the last bell of eighth grade rang. Ted Shaw, a high school friend who later became the legal director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, describes Catholic school as his salvation and damnation: it shaped his future and terrified his heart. I identify with this depiction. The Sisters of Charity helped to shape who I am, but there was much that I wouldn’t be sad to leave behind.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
A student recently posed another question that gave me pause: “Given that there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, each with life tenure, can anyone realistically aspire to such a goal? How do we hold on to dreams that, statistically, are almost impossible?” As I tell in these pages, the dream I first followed was to become a judge, which itself seemed far-fetched until it actually happened. The idea of my becoming a Supreme Court Justice—which, indeed, as a goal would inevitably elude the vast majority of aspirants—never occurred to me except as the remotest of fantasies. But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire. That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Learning how to balance the needs of individuals with the no-less-real needs of an institution was an important lesson. It's fine to be on the side of the little guy, but he too will ultimately suffer if the health and concerns of the greater body he belongs to are neglected.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
As difficult an environment as the DA's Office could be, I saw no overarching conspiracy against women. The unequal treatment was usually more a matter of old habits dying hard.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Sonia lives her life fully. If she dies tomorrow, she'll die happy. If she lives the way you want her to live, she'll die miserable. So leave her alone, okay?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I accepted what the Sisters taught in religion class: that God is loving, merciful, charitable, forgiving. That message didn't jibe with adults smacking kids.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Many of my classmates have happier memories of Blessed Sacrament, and in time I would find my own satisfaction in the classroom. My first years there, however, I met with little warmth. In part, it was that the nuns were critical of working mothers, and their disapproval was felt by latchkey kids. The irony of course was that my mother wouldn't have been working such long hours if not to pay for that education she believed was the key to any aspirations for a better life.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I could see that troubling the waters was occasionally necessary to bring attention to the urgency of some problem. But this style of political expression sometimes becomes an end in itself and can lose potency if used routinely. If you shout too loudly and too often, people tend to cover their ears. Take it too far and you risk that nothing will be heard over the report of rifles and hoofbeats.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I've always believed phone calls from kids must be allowed if mothers are to feel welcome in the workplace, as anyone who has worked in my chambers can attest.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The differences were plain enough, and yet I saw that they were as nothing compared with what we had in common. As I lay in bed at night, the sky outside my window reflecting the city's dim glow, I thought about Abuelita’s fierce loyalty to blood. But what really binds people as family? The way they shore themselves up with stories; the way siblings can feud bitterly but still come through for each other; how an untimely death, a child gone before a parent, shakes the very foundations; how the weaker ones, the ones with invisible wounds, are sheltered; how a constant din is medicine against loneliness; and how celebrating the same occasions year after year steels us to the changes they herald. And always food at the center of it all.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Kevin defended him. The parish in Yonkers was 100 percent Irish, he rationalized, and the priest had no choice but to affirm his community's values. I disagreed. Bigotry is not a value.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Seeing my mother get back to her studies was all the proof I needed that a chain of emotion can persuade when one forged of logic won't hold. But more important was her example that a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence. It was something I would remember often in years ahead, whenever faced with fears that I wasn't smart enough to succeed.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I had no need to apologize that the look-wider, search-more affirmative action that Princeton and Yale practiced had opened doors for me. That was its purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
It’s fine to be on the side of the little guy, but he too will ultimately suffer if the health and concerns of the greater body he belongs to are neglected.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.
Sonia Sotomayor
idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in heaven. To succeed in this world, you have to be known to people.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
It would be logical for any group whose only sense of identity is the negative one of wickedness and oppression to dilute its wickedness by mixing with more virtuous groups. This is, upon reflection, exactly what celebrating diversity implies. James Carignan, a city councilor in Lewiston, Maine, encouraged the city to welcome refugees from the West African country of Togo, writing, “We are too homogeneous at present. We desperately need diversity.” He said the Togolese—of whom it was not known whether they were literate, spoke English, or were employable—“will bring us the diversity that is essential to our quest for excellence.” Likewise in Maine, long-serving state’s attorney James Tierney wrote of racial diversity in the state: “This is not a burden. This is essential.” An overly white population is a handicap. Gwynne Dyer, a London-based Canadian journalist, also believes whites must be leavened with non-whites in a process he calls “ethnic diversification.” He noted, however, that when Canada and Australia opened their borders to non-white immigration, they had to “do good by stealth” and not explain openly that the process would reduce whites to a minority: “Let the magic do its work, but don’t talk about it in front of the children. They’ll just get cross and spoil it all.” Mr. Dyer looked forward to the day when politicians could be more open about their intentions of thinning out whites. President Bill Clinton was open about it. In his 2000 State of the Union speech, he welcomed predictions that whites would become a minority by mid-century, saying, “this diversity can be our greatest strength.” In 2009, before a gathering of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, he again brought up forecasts that whites will become a minority, adding that “this is a very positive thing.” [...] Harvard University professor Robert Putnam says immigrants should not assimilate. “What we shouldn’t do is to say that they should be more like us,” he says. “We should construct a new us.” When Marty Markowitz became the new Brooklyn borough president in 2002, he took down the portrait of George Washington that had hung in the president’s office for many years. He said he would hang a picture of a black or a woman because Washington was an “old white man.” [...] In 2000, John Sharp, a former Texas comptroller and senator told the state Democratic Hispanic Caucus that whites must step aside and let Hispanics govern, “and if that means that some of us gringos are going to have to give up some life-long dreams, then we’ve got to do that.” When Robert Dornan of California was still in Congress, he welcomed the changing demographics of his Orange County district. “I want to see America stay a nation of immigrants,” he said. “And if we lose our Northern European stock—your coloring and mine, blue eyes and fair hair—tough!” Frank Rich, columnist for the New York Times, appears happy to become a minority. He wrote this about Sonya Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearings: “[T]his particular wise Latina, with the richness of her experiences, would far more often than not reach a better [judicial] conclusion than the individual white males she faced in that Senate hearing room. Even those viewers who watched the Sotomayor show for only a few minutes could see that her America is our future and theirs is the rapidly receding past.” It is impossible to imagine people of any other race speaking of themselves this way.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
To doubt the worth of minority students' achievement when they succeed is really only to present another face of the prejudice that would deny them a chance even to try. It is the same prejudice that insists all those destined for success must be cast from the same mold as those who have succeeded before them, a view that experience has already proven a fallacy.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
A hug from Papi would have been nice just then. I couldn't deny that our life was so much better now, but I did miss him. For all the misery he caused, I knew with certainty that he loved us. Those aren't things you can measure or weigh. You can't say: This much love is worth this much misery. They're not opposites that cancel each other out; they're both true at the same time.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
What was all this adult misery about? I had my theory. They must all feel guilty. If Papi slowly poisoned himself to death, then of course it must be Miami's fault (as had long been the theory), or maybe Abuelita now blamed herself and the failure of her spirit powers. Titi Carmen too might have faulted herself for not understanding. And how many times had I heard Titi Judy criticized for Tio Vitin's failure to visit the family more often--even though Tio Vitin was Abuelita's son and Titi Judy was just his wife? That was how their minds worked: if a man did something wrong, there was a woman to blame, whether a wife, mother, sister, or sister-in-law. I recognized that it must be horribly painful to imagine you could have stopped him but didn't. But I also knew all that was nonsense. There was no saving Papi from himself.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
THERE ARE no bystanders in this life.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Each death of someone close to me has come as a slap, reminding me again of my own mortality, compelling me to ask: What am I accomplishing? Is my life meaningful? When Abuelita died, I felt spurred to study even harder in
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Each death of someone close to me has come as a slap, reminding me again of my own mortality, compelling me to ask: What am I accomplishing? Is my life meaningful?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
When I look back on my childhood, most of my memories are mapped on either side of certain fault lines that split my world. Opposites coexisted without ever being reconciled:
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I didn’t entirely trust this new reality, my mother’s transformation included.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Achievement was all very well, but it was the process, not the goal, that was most important.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Along with discipline, that habit of internal awareness was perhaps another accidental gift from my disease. It is linked, I believe, to the ease with which I can recall the emotions attached to memories and to a fine-tuned sensitivity to others’ emotional states, which has served me well in the courtroom.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I had never before in all these years asked that very intelligent and perceptive woman for her own version of events. I would be startled by what I uncovered and grateful even at this remove to meet a happier version of my father—and my mother—than I ever knew.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
SOMETIMES THE PEOPLE closest to us are those we know the least. “Where should I begin, Sonia?” “Begin at the beginning, Mami.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
But the disease also inspired in me a kind of precocious self-reliance that is not uncommon in children who feel the adults around them to be unreliable.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I have come to believe that in order to thrive, a child must have at least one adult in her life who shows her unconditional love, respect, and confidence. For me it was Abuelita.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I have feared, at times, that my self-reliance, even more than my prominence, might prove hard for any man to take.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
eyes. A tenderness I have no name for rushes like a drug through my veins, as I realize that the absence of human touch has been, for so long, a burden carried unwittingly.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I am a woman; I do have a feminine side. Learning to enjoy it would not diminish any other part of me.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
the culture of poverty persists by virtue of being adaptive, a set of strategies to cope with difficult circumstances.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Meanwhile, a summer job doing research in the Office of Social Responsibility at the Equitable Life Assurance Society in Manhattan would provide my first glimpse inside corporate America. It was, to say the least, a letdown: I was shocked at how much time presumably productive people were capable of wasting.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
The quality of mercy: “It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
If you are palpably present in the moment, continuously mindful of and responsive to your listeners, they will follow where you lead.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
If you shout too loudly and too often, people tend to cover their ears. Take it too far and you risk that nothing will be heard over the report of rifles and hoofbeats.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
argument, and using that to build a bridge. Always, my first question was, what’s the goal? And then, who must be persuaded if it is to be accomplished?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
One of the books on our reading list to make a profound impression on me was Oscar Lewis’s La Vida. It was a contentious inclusion, an anthropological study of one family that stretched from the slums of San Juan to those of New York.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
WHEN MY MOTHER made good on our wager of a plane ticket and I found myself in Puerto Rico for two weeks, I had my first chance to view the island through adult eyes and with an evolving new consciousness of my identity.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can’t imagine someone else’s point of view.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
A respectful dialogue with one’s opponent almost invariably goes further than a harangue outside his or her window. If you want to change someone’s mind, you must understand what need shapes his or her opinion. To prevail, you must first listen
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Few aspects of my work in the DA’s Office were more rewarding than to see what I had learned in childhood among the Latinos of the Bronx prove to be as relevant to my success as Ivy League schooling was. It was in effect to see that mastery of the law’s cold abstractions, which had taken such effort, was actually incomplete without an understanding of how they affected individual lives.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Next to the monitor that showed the jobs queuing to run on the computer was a metal post that seemed to serve no purpose. It was a while before someone explained it to me: after repeatedly replastering the wall, the administration had decided to install the post for the convenience of frustrated students, who invariably needed something to kick when their code crashed.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
None of the politicking of this first judicial nomination was lost on the street-smart Sotomayor. Less than two years after she was sworn in as a district court judge, she told a conference focused on women in the judiciary, 'It is a political appointment. [People] have to make themselves known. You simply do not put in an application.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
No one would have disputed [Ruth Bader Ginsburg's] intellect and seriousness, but the woman who wore her hair pulled back tightly in a short ponytail had a soft voice and had trouble looking people in the eye. She was also known for being so serious that as a youngster her daughter, Jane, made a booklet called 'Mommy Laughs' that recounted the rare episodes when her mother revealed her sense of humor.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
As [Sonia] Sotomayor wrote in her autobiography, once she set herself on the path of a legal career, 'I saw no reason to stint on ambition.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
Ultimately, though, I realized I did have sources of deep happiness, and these bred in me an optimism that proved stronger than any adversity.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
How is it that adversity has spurred me on instead of knocking me down?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
People who live in difficult circumstances need to know that happy endings are possible.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
memory by nature is selective and colored by emotion.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
When someone’s dignity shatters in front of you, it leaves a hole that any feeling heart naturally wants to fill, if only with its own sadness.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can’t imagine someone else’s point of view.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
difficulty can tap unsuspected strengths.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
If you can’t in good conscience try the case, then don’t.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Look, I just needed to make sure that you were sure.” “Why didn’t you just ask?” “Sometimes I figure I have to play devil’s advocate.” I could have done without the drama. The office declined to prosecute the case.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
And he was utterly untainted by emotion.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Half a debate is listening to what the other person says,” Ken advised. It was easy to present your own points, much harder to listen well enough to respond effectively to your opponent.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
So much is communicated in tone of voice, in subtleties of expression, and in body language.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Constructing a chain of logic was one thing; building a chain of emotions required a different understanding.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Thirty-eight neighbors did nothing. How does this happen? It happens when we become apathetic about our roles in society. It happens when we forget that we are a community, that we are connected to one another and have an obligation to engage with other human beings.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
No, the problem was not money.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There are people who make me believe, in ways that I can’t fully explain, that I have something important to accomplish in this life. Sometimes it’s a seemingly random encounter. The inscrutable words of a stranger that somehow say to me: Sonia, you have work to do. Get on with it.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
the difference between winning and losing came down to the appeal by emotion rather than fact alone.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Granting myself permission to use my innate skills of the heart, accepting that emotion was perfectly valid in the art of persuasion, amounted to nothing less than a breakthrough.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Leveraging emotional intelligence in the courtroom, as in life, depends on being attentive; the key is always to watch and listen.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
What holds a jury’s attention, essentially, is the quality of one’s own attention.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
It is the particulars that make a story real.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
In examining witnesses, I learned to ask general questions so as to elicit details with powerful sensory associations: the colors, the sounds, the smells, that lodge an image in the mind and put the listener in the burning house.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I particularly welcomed any chance to work on issues such as economic development and education that were crucial to the community in which I was raised. I not only cared deeply about those people but also understood their needs from firsthand experience.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
What I’ve learned from children I’ve been able to give back to adults. The stroke on the arm that says I understand, the welcome hug, the good-bye kiss, the embrace that lingers that much longer in a time of sorrow.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Talking about our relationship, about feelings, was not something we did naturally. Even in the early days in high school, when we could talk for hours on end, it was always about some shared interest, or nothing in particular, but never ourselves. How long had it been since we talked like that, like children?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I argued, as I would so often with lawyers years later, not from a set position but by way of exploring ideas and testing them against whatever challenge might be offered. I love the heat of thoughtful conversation, and I don’t judge a person’s character by the outcome of a sporting verbal exchange, let alone his or her reasoned opinions.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There is indeed something deeply wrong with a person who lacks principles, who has no moral core. There are, likewise, certainly values that brook no compromise, and I would count among them integrity, fairness, and the avoidance of cruelty. But I have never accepted the argument that principle is compromised by judging each situation on its own merits, with due appreciation of the idiosyncrasy of human motivation and fallibility. Concern for individuals, the imperative of treating them with dignity and respect for their ideas and needs, regardless of one’s own views—these too are surely principles and as worthy as any of being deemed inviolable. To remain open to understandings—perhaps even to principles—as yet not determined is the least that learning requires, its barest threshold.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
But the more critical lesson I learned that day is still one too many kids never figure out: don’t be shy about making a teacher of any willing party who knows what he or she is doing.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
No me importa si trabajan lavando baños. Lo importante es hacerlo bien.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Those aren’t things you can measure or weigh. You can’t say: This much love is worth this much misery. They’re not opposites that cancel each other out; they’re both true at the same time.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
have always argued like a man, more noticeably in the context of those days, when an apologetic and tentative manner of speech was the norm among women. I don’t know where I learned this style, but it has served me well, especially in the years when most of the people I was arguing with were men.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Gee, Officer Krupke, I thought, how do I explain? Shall I talk about my ancestors, the heritage of Spain? About having two languages, two ways of seeing the world? Is there only one culture that counts? I didn’t even know where to begin answering that one.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
But more important was her example that a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
You know best, Sonia.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I moved easily between different worlds without assuming disguises.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
ultimately, I know myself. At each stage of my life, I’ve had a pretty clear notion of my needs and of what I was ready for.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
success is its own reward, but failure is a great teacher too, and not to be feared.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Seeing the task in the context of another
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I want to be needed,” he said. “I knew you loved me, but I felt you didn’t need me.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
MY ABILITY TO compartmentalize leaves my friends incredulous and sometimes even a little frightened. But it works for me. When I’m focused on a project, nothing else intrudes. It’s only when I stop on an evening or a weekend that I look down to realize I’ve walked off a cliff.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Ultimately, I accept that there is no perfect substitute for the claim that a parent and child have on each other’s heart. But families can be made in other ways, and I marvel at the support and inspiration I’ve derived from the ones I’ve built of interlocking circles of friends. In their constant embrace I have never felt alone.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
But once I realized that my intense focus might have blinded me to certain cues at home, I couldn’t help examining myself for unremarked changes as well.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
there’s something very special about you. You’ve been blessed. I’m glad we met.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Good people can do bad things, make bad choices. It doesn’t make them bad people.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
ultimately to imagine the most improbable of possibilities for my life. And that feeling of Abuelita’s protection would only grow after her death, made manifest in countless ways, from bizarrely fortuitous interventions that would save my life in diabetic crises to strange alignments of circumstances that have favored me unreasonably.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
temporary need for remedial help into a lifetime of minimal employment and poverty. The ASPIRA consent decree won by PRLDEF in 1974 established the right of students with limited English to receive bilingual education in New York City’s public schools.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Be diplomatic but direct, I told myself. I don’t tend to bang people over the head, but some situations require a bit of boldness
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
the confidence that comes of having seen life from all sides.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I’ve lived most of my life inescapably aware that it is precious and finite.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I’d always believed people can change; very few are carved in stone or beyond redemption. All my life I’ve looked around me and asked: What can I learn here? What qualities in this friend, this mentor, even this rival, are worth emulating? What in me needs to change?
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Opening up, I came to recognize the value of vulnerability and to honor it, and soon I found that I wasn’t alone even on this journey.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
SOMETIMES, no matter how long we’ve carried a dream or prepared its way, we meet the prospect of its fulfillment with disbelief, startled to see it in daylight. In part that may be because, refusing to tempt fate, we have never actually allowed ourselves to expect it.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Sonia, how wonderful! That’s terrific news!” As always, Mami’s initial reaction was enthusiasm. She didn’t always understand fully what my news meant, but as a matter of maternal principle she was a loyal cheerleader.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
But what really binds people as family? The way they shore themselves up with stories; the way siblings can feud bitterly but still come through for each other; how an untimely death, a child gone before a parent, shakes the very foundations; how the weaker ones, the ones with invisible wounds, are sheltered; how a constant din is medicine against loneliness; and how celebrating the same occasions year after year steels us to the changes they herald. And always food at the center of it all.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
was then I first saw how difficult it was to energize a community that felt marginal and voiceless in the larger discourse of a democracy.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Their chances of escaping from the underclass, from the vicious cycle of poverty, were no better than those of their similarly alienated black neighbors and probably worse for those who didn’t speak English
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Read Margaret Mead!” I yell at them. “In certain tribes in Papua New Guinea, it’s completely reversed. What you consider male, the women do. And what women do here, the men do over there.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
That was the Latina in me,” I said. “We’re taught to be polite.” If we were going to rely on stereotypes, at least they should be accurate. I further explained that it wasn’t in my nature to cause everyone at the table discomfort because of how I felt about his behavior. But neither was I simply going to accept being treated so unfairly. I’ve long known how to control my anger, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel it.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
This was not a man who relished chitchat. But being capable of talking up anybody, I proceeded to ask him to tell me a bit about his background, what he’d liked about each of his jobs.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I’ve always turned the families of friends into family of my own. The roots of this practice are buried deep in my childhood, in the broad patterns of Puerto Rican culture, in the particular warmth of Abuelita’s embrace
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
I have followed my mother’s approach to family, refusing to limit myself to accidents of birth, blood, and marriage
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
a life of perpetual internal compromise that leaves you always feeling torn, neglectful by turns of one or the other.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
HAVING MADE a different choice from that of many women, I occasionally do feel a tug of regret. When her mother died, Dawn’s eulogy was an expression of such feeling and care that I was shaken beyond the grief of having lost the dear friend her mother had become. I spent the following days pondering the bond between parent and child and wondering whether anyone would miss me that much when I died. Ultimately, I accept that there is no perfect substitute for the claim that a parent and child have on each other’s heart. But families can be made in other ways, and I marvel at the support and inspiration I’ve derived from the ones I’ve built of interlocking circles of friends. In their constant embrace I have never felt alone.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in heaven. To succeed in this world, you have to be known to people.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)