Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday Morning....

On Monday mornings, I tend to feel like I must be the most boring person on the earth. I see piles of weekend aftermath that I am supposed to be dealing with and think, "This is my job, this is my life?" It doesn't look that good through half closed eyes on a Monday morning.

Three weeks ago, I had to go to the court house for jury selection. I was horrified when I got there to see that it was for a murder trial. Not only was I there half a day, but was told to return again a week later. I had so many concerns. It's not that I don't want to do my civic duty. I was worried about a long disruptive process. An even bigger issue was the nature of the case itself. I'm sensitive....yes, a wimp. There are things I don't want to listen to, and think about.

The day I returned, as I had been instructed to do, I was prepared with all kinds of reasons why I should not be on the jury. The reasons grew once I got there. The defendant was present on this second day. When he had to turn and look at us, I felt so awful. You would think I felt awful because I had to be in the room with someone who very likely committed that crime. That wasn't it. I felt so bad for him. I know that was probably misplaced sympathy, but nevertheless it was how I felt. He looked so trapped, and consumed with a pain that I never want to understand. I did not want to help decide his fate.

I was there for seven hours before I had my chance to talk to the judge. I had been listening during those hours, to all the people who also did not want to serve on the jury. People had many important reasons. I listened about special projects at work. My heart went out to people with health issues. I wondered who was telling the truth and who was overstating. I didn't know if the judge would care that I needed to meet the kindergarten bus. It sounded a little lame rolling around in my brain.

My confidence actually grew though, as I listened. I could see that they were trying to place the burden of jury service on employers, rather than individuals. People with work issues were much less likely to be dismissed than people with family issues. I only needed thirty seconds with the judge, and I was dismissed. I walked out of that courtroom so grateful that my regular family life was not going to be disrupted for months. I determined to be more grateful for everything in my life....especially the kindergarten bus.

So I guess I will try to be more thankful this morning too....weekend aftermath and all.

2 comments:

Home's Jewels said...

Impressive - the judge thought your job at home was more important than others. Love it :)

Stacers said...

It's not misplaced sympathy...it's empathy, a good trait to have if I do say so myself.