SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 378: It's OK To Talk To Strangers

Jury duty today… one of the civic obligations many of us have enjoyed on a yearly basis. A room full of sequestered people, some wanting to do their duty while others hopelessly scheme for the perfect excuse to get out of service. But as quoted, via the strangely welcoming and compassionate smile of lady behind window 3, “I’ve heard them all.”

So the room sits, all looking at the floor, dozing off or reading as they wait to be called to bear the barrage of lawyers questions regarding their character. We are a diverse and intriguing group of strangers. I’m sure with many experiences, loves, hopes and fears. So in tribute to Operation-365, I raise my chin up to look around the room. I guess I’m looking for connections. But sadly, far too many are a guarded and shrouded behind self-created walls of invisibility. So amidst the occasional acknowledgement from curious fellow human, most just simply dismiss me as they drop their chins in looking away.

An announcement perks through the silent separation and brings many together as they look up to the ceiling.  It’s as if the PA system is more human than the microphone voice of our courthouse friend (as she is in plain sight, standing only feet from us at room’s center). “If any of you cannot commit for 7 day’s, you can ask for a reschedule,” she explains.

Oh, that’s just perfect! Can’t wait to do this again in 3 months. Of course, I can’t stay for 7 more days. Already have lost 4; and if chosen to stay another week, who knows, maybe longer, the pay of $15.76 falls a little short of making my overhead. I was hoping for a 1-day trial. You know, he stole the socks from my bedroom dresser and I have the photos to prove it. Cut and dry. In and out. Must not be my week.

To window 3, as instructed I go. Yet again getting to receive the same paperwork that brought me here it the first place. Not that I like to gripe, but hats off to the systems we have in place. Could there possibly be a better way to schedule us… I don’t know. But a man has to gripe sometime. After all, I’m just as human as you. That said, looks like I’m back in May. Oh summer, how I love thee.

So now I’m standing in line for the said assistance of window 3, overhearing, and yes, buying into the banter of all who are expressing the reasoning behind why we can’t stay. Funny how easy it is to share negative comments with the world around us. So I try an experiment, I turn my thoughts to what the staff must be feeling as, I’m sure, they are overhearing our loudening words of wisdom. I recriminate myself a little regarding my less that positive gut reaction, realizing that we are all equally human, especially the workers servicing this full line of annoyed people. So I back step my thinking, choose not to look for faults, but to merely listen and observe. As I do, a calm face to the left of me comes into bright focus.

Christine is her name and it is with warm spirit that she chats with us regarding her views on compassion, trust and love.

O-365 daily blogumentary has begun, and Christine, thank you for putting us on a fantastic path. You are living proof that it is OK to talk to strangers.

See you tomorrow my friends,