As Serious as a Heart Attack…or Jury Duty

On jury duty during pre-selection check-in, I sat on the front row in a room of approximately 400 people. After a while, a large, confident, African American woman in a judge’s robe walked in, took a seat behind the podium, and proceeded to take charge. In a booming voice she said, “Some of you think you shouldn’t be here. If you want to convince me of that, come on up here and try.” After processing the dare she issued, a long line formed, the action began, and I had the best seat in the house.

I had already listened to lots of excuses when a petite, demur woman cautiously approached her eminence. “Your honor, I can’t serve because I’m depressed.”

The judge raised up and leaned over the dais to get closer to her penitent, then yelled, “Honey, we all depressed! You gonna have to come up with somethin’ better than that!” The small woman wasn’t the only one shocked into a state change.

Although insensitive, she had a point. There weren’t many smiling faces in the room, and, granted, it must have been a very depressing job for her too, but her passion and authenticity brought a big smile to my face.

Sometimes, we just need the raw truth from someone, anyone, to shake us up a bit.

And, those of us who can take a break from ourselves long enough to laugh at life, will enjoy the ride.

“I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing.”

– Dr. Madan Kataria

laughter pill

Ask your doctor if laughter is right for you.

2 thoughts on “As Serious as a Heart Attack…or Jury Duty

  1. On the one hand… however, not knowing this petite woman’s story I can’t help but think that she may not be able to handle the stress of a court room.
    Yes, it is our civic duty to serve jury duty and it is boring at best, inconvenient and trying. I agree with the judge’s passion that we need to put our problems aside and ensure that someone gets a fair trail. Unfortunately, most people just don’t want to be bothered.

  2. Yes, your observations are spot on. I wasn’t trying to deal casually with serious depression issues and really relate to the small woman’s plight more than this ditty indicated. Just going for the comic side this morning. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond, Juju!

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