After this afternoon, I am a little stunned. Today was my afternoon to be of service a la Jury Duty at the Municipal Court building downtown. I packed my little bag with all of the things I knew would pass security and would keep me occupied during my allotted 1-4:30 (?) shift. You know what I'm saying...I had a bag full of design and clothes magazines, a bottle of water, and my phone charger just in case.
This was a much smaller jury pool than I'd ever encountered before but it was basically the same drill. Sign in, turn in your summons, put your phone on silent, watch the video, meet the judge and get sworn in. And then a miracle happened. Our Bailiff started talking to us, made us all laugh, and then went person by person and had us state our name and our occupation. Not only did he entertain us and make funnies as he went around to each person, but he personally thanked people for what they did for a living. By the time we were finished, we all felt like we knew each other. We were "connected" for that afternoon. We "related" to each other and lots of us ended up yick-yacking together during the breaks.
Some of us walked out the back door together to go get coffee at the 7-Eleven behind the building. The Bailiff had told us right where it was and called it his "Starbucks". As you might imagine, that downtown 7-Eleven had some interesting looking customers. One man handed me a cardboard ring for my coffee to protect my fingers. When I dropped a dollar on the ground, another man who looked like he sure could use it, pointed it out to me. When I got to the counter, the clerk could not have been kinder. I'm not talking about that blow off kind of kindness. I'm talking the kind you can feel across the counter. Real. Legitimate. Holy cow...where am I?
By this point, my brain is trying like crazy to figure out what's going on here. What is this? It feels so good...and that's when I realized this is just how it feels when people are kind and caring to each other. We don't have to have ever met, for us to be w-a-y on down in the kindness thing. I'm talking that deep, soft, gentle feeling that wraps around you and is impossible to refuse because it simply feels so good. You see it in people's eyes and hear it in their voice. People are laughing, patiently waiting in line, just beeeeeeing.
Holy moly. The jury duty I dreaded and got let out of early, turned out to be my gift for the day. Just goes to show me gifts come from all kinds of places. Even Municipal Court.