(Try to resist the urge to upchuck...I promise you that the following paragraphs are overwrought and ridiculous...but sometimes a spinster just needs to orate.)
(Know what I mean?)
Jury duty is hard. It's inconvenient and unpredictable and an intrusion into our normal lives. The tedium of waiting can be very frustrating, especially when we don't know or understand what we're waiting for. We grumble about finding downtown parking spaces, having to figure out where to go for lunch, and the "intimacy" of the restrooms in the jury room, but somehow we press on.
And then it's time to deliberate, and a group of perfect strangers come together in a thoughtful, conscientious, and profound way to examine and consider evidence, argue the meaning of a concept or instruction, and finally render a verdict that will change a life.
We're bombarded with news accounts and analysis of what's wrong with our country, and there are days when I'm certain that nine out of ten people think that the cause is lost and there's nothing that we as ordinary citizens can do to reverse the course, plot a new one, stick to the plan we prefer, or just scratch the whole thing and move to Canada.
But then we serve jury duty, and we're reminded of everything that is good about our home. We treat people with respect and honor their dignity. We give them the benefit of the doubt and weigh things carefully before rushing to judgment, and we look out for one another with the hope that eventually we'll get it right and achieve a society that will allow our children and grandchildren to live happily ever after.
The final lesson that I learned from jury duty was the importance of trust. We come into this experience needing to trust the judicial system, the players in it, the process, and then finally ourselves. This last one is the hardest, because we know that we might render the right verdict, but that it might have the wrong outcome. We know that for our system to work, we have to trust the rules and the instructions and the concepts -- even if they are in direct opposition to that which we know to be true in our deepest heart.
I'm profoundly grateful that I had this opportunity, and I hope that I'll have the chance to tell a fellow citizen to think about the things I've mentioned here if they too are called to serve. How thankful I am that the fathers of our country had the brilliance to give me this duty...this right...and this gift.
(She climbs down from the soapbox.)
So there you have it -- what I'm contemplating as I poke the needle tonight. I hope that wherever you are is exactly where you want to be and that your needles are flying!
(and Stewey, too..only the part about wishing you happy times...not about the jury duty stuff)
(He keeps rolling his eyes at me as I ha-rumph around the house humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic)