I’ve been out of the loop the last week or so because of Jury Duty. It was last Monday that I walked into the courts, stood in line to get my badge, and then went to wait in the juror’s lounge. I sat in the back row and watched as the room filled.
Before this moment I didn’t necessarily think much about jury duty. I had never been picked for a trial and had thought like most people… How inconvenient is this? And when I told people I had jury duty the response was, “ugh, that sucks. Just hope you don’t get called.”
I settled into my seat as they began to play the educational video. The girl next to me with long brown hair started laughing, shaking her head. She turned to me, “they make it seem like it’s this monumental thing. I mean all the cases here? Small stuff.”
A woman stood up at the podium and started to announce numbers. “If your number is called please line up out into the hall.” My number wasn’t called. Twenty minutes later she came out again. “586.” She said. “586.” I looked at my badge. “Here.”
Because I had been warned this was something I didn’t want to go through, I of course was a bit annoyed. But, then, something unexpected happened.
When I walked into the courtroom and was introduced to the case, saw the lawyers, and the defendant I couldn’t ignore how real it all was. The girl with the long brown hair was wrong, this wasn’t anything to pass off.
Suddenly, there was a person who’s life, who’s choices, who’s world although already upset by certain actions, was either going to change for the better or for the worse.
I was picked as a juror and instead of feeling frustrated that I was going to miss a lot of work I felt an immense amount of responsibility to be present. Going into court each day, listening to the lawyers and witnesses, picking through the details, all of it made me so aware of where I was. It was impossible to be anywhere but in those seats, listening, because it was someone’s future we were speaking of.
Jury duty made me show up for someone else, and it made me think about my life, my choices, how I want to live in the world. It made me take a break and see what is truly valuable to me in my life, what my priorities are. It gave me a moment to become a better person.
It may seem strange to hear, because most people despise jury duty, but if you ever get the opportunity to serve – embrace it. Use it as a chance to reassess your world and how you move within it, let it teach you something you don’t yet know about who you are.
Has anyone else had a similar experience ? Would love to know about it below in the comments.