It was an utterly fascinating, gut wrenching, educational, and profoundly moving experience. I’ll never forget any of it for the rest of my life. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – if you ever are chosen to serve on a jury, just do it. Don’t do back flips trying to get out of it or throw the notice away, acting like you never saw it.
You’re cooler than that.
For one thing, you could get into a lot of trouble and who really wants to invite trouble into their home… especially the kind in uniform. For another thing, it’s the least you can do to serve your community and to stand up for your neighbors. Lastly, why should ANYONE run scared from something that others are facing head on? The entire process is laid out for you plainly and like most things in life, your primary responsibility is to just care enough to show up.
If you’re lucky, really lucky, you’ll be rewarded with the honor of serving your community and getting a chance to meet life head-on out on the battlefield. Invigorating. Very invigorating.
As I pointed out in a recent post (Behold: The Land of the Lost... sorry, someone had too much coffee and not enough chocolate that day. There’s a sweet balance and when I get out of rhythm, I’m thrown. Too much coffee and not enough chocolate makes me testy. Too much chocolate and not enough coffee makes me punchy.), doing things such as serving on a jury or even just reporting for jury duty is considered out of the ordinary and most people hate “out of the ordinary.” Yet, this is where TRUE growth happens. Out of the ordinary is where you learn new things. As I said in the testy post, Each experience helps you to develop new layers and fill up fresh wells of life experiences to draw from.
I didn’t start out to lecture you on jury duty – honestly. I just wanted to take the opportunity to let you know where I’ve been and why updates have been unusually sparse. I also wanted to say that I’m nearly caught up on responding to comments and e-mail.
I have also gotten behind… make that VERY BEHIND on books I’ve been wanting to review. I’ve read some amazing books lately and can’t wait to share them with you. Book reviews take a little longer with me simply because I don’t just say, “I read this book. I liked this book. You should read this book.” My approach is this: If the book was worth my time and I believe will be worth your time, I incorporate the book into an article that could stand on it’s own. That is, I try very hard to tell you about the book and review the book without making you feel like you’re in the midst of a book review.
The book that I’ll be focusing on in the next post is called Better Because of You by Ginny Hutchinson and Cathy Haffner. I read it this month during my jury duty – on breaks when no one was around to talk to. When others were near, I talked with them. I love books, but I’d never ever choose one over a human. Anyway, this is a fantastic little book and I’ll tell you all about it either later today or tomorrow.
I want to end this post with a quote from this particular book. I read it during a long day of jury duty. A day that found me missing my family, my cats, my house shoes, and my kitchen – and hoping they all remembered who I was. I was on schedule with my coffee/chocolate balance, so I wasn’t punchy or testy. However, I still got a lot out of this quote and loved how it showed up at just the right time. I’ve written this passage down and I think you’ll want to do the same. Heck, I’d recommend starting each and every day by reading the words from front to back.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is not brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw
Splendid, Mr. Shaw, splendid.