Letter: View of jury duty changed after being called to serve
My view of jury duty has completely changed. I have always dreaded “the letter” telling you to report for jury duty. I tried to avoid, delay and avoid again. Until now.
Recently, jury duty called me. My goal this time was to “stick it out” and hope to not get chosen. I didn’t get chosen, but I got enlightened. It’s service, not duty.
Three people changed my jury service attitude. First, during the sign-in and long wait time, all 65 potential jurors sat together in one room. I sat beside a wonderful woman who works third shift at a nursing home. God bless her. Third shift.
Me? I was concerned about missing a massage appointment. I felt small and selfish.
After filing into the courtroom, the visiting judge went to great lengths to share the court’s appreciation for our service — not duty, service. That opened my eyes wider to my responsibility as a Rowan County citizen. I need to serve. The last great influence was Judge Charlie Brown. He was the only potential juror that I recognized. What in the world was a judge doing as a potential juror? He signed his name and wore his plastic juror badge just like the rest of us. He was there to serve.
I felt lower than Scrooge after the third ghost. Like Scrooge, I changed my ways. Massage be damned. Wake up and clear the calendar. My attitude and stump speech mantra for jury service is now positive and appreciative.
I didn’t get picked, neither did the night nurse. Judge Brown got excused for, well, you know why. Only one judge per courtroom the presiding judge joked.
I’m a new fan of our court system. I felt comfortable with my 65 “peers,” too.
It was an honor to serve. Next time, I’ll open the “it’s your turn to serve again” letter with pride. Who knows, I might get picked.
— Greg Alcorn