Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg's handwritten note to an 8-year-old girl matters — especially now.

A few weeks ago, 8-year-old Michele Threefoot walked into school on "Superhero Day" dressed as her personal hero — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It's superhero day at school. Michele has been reading the heck out of "I Dissent" and decided to dress as Ruth Bader...

Posted by Krista Wujek Threefoot on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Michele's mom, Krista Wujek Threefoot, posted a photo of her daughter in costume on Facebook.


It has been shared nearly 2,000 times.

The photo even caught the attention of a prominent government official — someone who is a premiere authority on what it means to embody the chic style and scrappy spirit of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg:

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself.

Ginsburg sent Michele a handwritten note praising her costume for its accuracy and encouraging her to keep loving books, the Huffington Post reported.

"Dear Michele," Ginsburg's note reads. "You look just like me! May you continue to thrive on reading and learning."

Needless to say, Michele and her mom were thrilled — and are sending love right back at RBG. "This wouldn’t have gone where it has if [Ginsburg] weren’t such an admirable person," Krista told HuffPo.

"I also want to thank her for taking the time to make a little girl really, really happy."

Now more than ever, we need women like Ginsburg in visible leadership roles, encouraging the next generation to rise up and fill their shoes.

California Senator Kamala Harris, one of four female freshmen senators in the new Congress. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein.

For millions of women across America, Hillary Clinton's failure to win the White House showed that, despite decades of struggle in the name of equality, the glass ceiling endures.

Reminders are everywhere: American women continue to earn less than men, women made up only 20% of the last U.S. Senate and 19.3% of the last Congress, and women report having a harder time securing mentorship than their male colleagues.

Mentorship from women who have defied the odds can make a difference.

It can make a difference even on a small scale, like a simple, encouraging note received at a young age.

Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images.

Ginsburg's "thank-you" letter won't change the world, but it just might give one young woman the courage to grow up and fight the good fight.

That matters.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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