An American Experience

I recently got a notice in the mail. As I have shared it with others, the news universally has been acknowledged with a commiserating groan. I ask myself if I have presented the news in a negative light. I hope not. I’ve received this particular request twice before, and I had an interesting experience both times. It seems to me a reasonable request for my service. I think of my father, uncles, cousins, husband, and son, who have all given greater service than this as U.S. citizens.

Have you guessed I am writing about a summons for jury service? that the envelope was decorated by an American flag? that it bore the words “IT’S AN HONOR TO SERVE AS A JUROR”?

Jury duty does not seem too much to expect. I concede to my groaning friends that it may cause inconvenience, and that, although it is usually only minor (as little as a daily phone call for 5 days, a trip downtown one day, or an average of 1-3 days for a trial), there is always the possibility of a major inconvenience if you are chosen for a complicated trial. Still, I embrace this common American experience. I value it as just that- an experience we have in common, that ties us together as Americans. It is an opportunity to cooperate with fellow citizens and make an important contribution. As I accept the privileges of citizenship, I also accept the responsibilities.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I will make that first call. I am not affected by any condition that would interfere with or prevent jury service. I meet every requirement for a prospective juror. There is no personal hardship that calls for me to postpone it. On Thanksgiving, gratefulness for my country will be one of the blessings I count. How appropriate I have such an immediate opportunity to put that gratitude into action!

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This entry was posted in reflections, SOLSC 2013 Weekly, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An American Experience

  1. elsie says:

    If only more thought like you. It is an inconvenience to the normal routine of life, but I would want someone like you in my jury pool if I were on trial. It is a responsibility that is part of our duties as a citizen.

  2. Jaana says:

    I don’t think I have ever heard or read jury duty described as beautifully. I will look at my jury summons next time very differently. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. Ramona says:

    This is a slice to preserve. How easy it is to dread that envelope, but your words will make me view it differently the next time I receive the summons.

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