Wednesday Words


Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.

Rev James Woods

Yesterday I had to serve on jury duty. They had postponed it once already and I knew they wouldn’t do it again. So off I went on the bus downtown to the courthouse. I do not mind serving on a jury. As a writer its fascinating. To be part of a system that, even with it’s faults, is still better than most, is definitely a right and a privilege.

The jury room was filled to capacity and after I checked in, I found a seat. I started watching the people around me, like I always do. After all, I am a writer and before I even got called up to the courtroom there were several scenarios running through my head. The guys that looked totally bored and wanted to be anywhere but there. Glad to be out of work for the day and hoping they wouldn’t be there long. The woman in the corner on her phone, was she talking to her kids, her work, her boyfriend/husband? The man with his  iPad who repeatedly checked his watch and the woman on her device. What were they reading?

I was called up to the courtroom a bright airy room where things are decided that changes people’s lives forever. Outside lawyers were heading for the various courtrooms, many of them looking at us, trying to see what kind of people were to be the jurors.

 

The judge explained to us about the case and how long it would last. He than asked if any of us would have problems with that. Unfortunately, I had to say yes.

Over the years with various injuries I have developed problems with my legs and knees. I have trouble getting around and with two fractured disk it is difficult to sit or stand for extended periods. I would serve if they told me to, but it wouldn’t be easy. I raised my hand and approached the bench. When I explained the situation both he and the two lawyers were very understanding and excused me.

Back in the still ful Jury room. I told them what had happened and why. They took my badge and told me to go home.  As I was leaving, one of the other jurors who was with me stopped me. He had been excused for another reason, which I didn’t ask. He asked me if I felt as if I had wasted the morning. I looked around the still packed room with people who had been there most of the morning. Each of them with a life of their own, each with their own story and said “wasted? I don’t think so.”

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