I had jury duty yesterday. It was a completely different experience than I expected. Most people get a notice to serve and do everything possible to defer the date. I was actually excited about getting the opportunity to serve as a juror. I had never been called before and wanted to know what it was all about.
While sitting in a room with about twenty people, the judge came in to speak with the potential jurors. He was one of those down to earth people who motivates and inspires you without even trying.
He talked about his own personal experience with jury duty and how he came to the realization one day that unless we serve on the police force or fire department, the only thing we ever do to exercise our civic duty is vote.
Here we are in the land of many freedoms and all we have to do is vote. Jury duty is another way in which we can perform our civic duty. Our country has so many safety elements in place that we take safety for granted. We often forget that others in the world are not as fortunate as we are. For example, in China, you can’t just drink the water from any sink you pass. You must be careful to only drink from sinks with a sign that says potable. Imagine how put out we would be if we had to search for clean drinking water! Why in America, even the water that comes into our toilets has already been purified.
Unless you live in a very remote area of the US, you know that both the fire department and the police department are ready to serve you whenever you have an emergency. We have no worries in this land of the free, other than those we imagine. Our foundation is built on safety, and yet, we often are unaware of how very lucky we are. We become so complacent in life that we fail to perform even the simplest of civic duties like voting or jury duty. We complain as if it’s too much effort to do these things. There are so many Americans who will not vote this year, and yet they want to complain about the candidates! They forget what a privilege it is to exercise our right to help choose the next President of the United States! It is an amazing right afforded to each American. If you perform no other civic duty the rest of your life, at least go out and vote in this election and in all future elections. Your voice matters!