I was walking as fast as I could to get from the mechanic to the Essex County Courthouse to do my civic duty. I was had jury duty at 9:15. I wasn’t thrilled to serve. The last time I tried, I was dismissed because the proceedings weren’t recorded as required.
I approached the front door and held it open with my foot because the guy in front of me didn’t stop it from closing in my face. Then, at the X-ray machine, I had to ask if my cane had to go on the belt because no one said anything. No one asked if I could stand or walk without it either.
After that, I tried to figure out where to go. I saw a small sign for the jury room, I walked over and handed my paper work in. The woman at the counter didn’t tell me anything. But, I saw room number mentioned on my summons.
I took a seat in the room and I waited with near a hundred other people in silence. 20 minutes later, a judge came in and gave us basic instructions. He was followed by the jury manager.
She began by acknowledging that jury service is inconvenient and unwelcome by most. But, she urged everyone to make the best of the every situation in life. Then, she recited her favorite quote, “the difference between a good day and a bad day is attitude.” An older black lady behind me began shouting out her approval like she was responding to a pastor in church. And, when the jury manager said, “we are all in the land for living so we should make the best of each and every day,”’ the woman behind me shouted, “that’s right. Amen.”
I reflected on the jury manager’s words all day like when the juror video wouldn’t play and during the wait before and after lunch. I sat thinking, my day isn’t so bad. I’m alive, free, and justice for someone could be in my hands.
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