Lesson from jury duty

Published on Dec 09, 2019

Last update: Dec 13, 2019

My civic duty

Today I was summoned to Boulder County court to fulfill my civic duty. This is the first time I’ve ever been summoned, and I can’t remember anyone in my large, Colorado-based family serving on a jury anytime recently, so I went in not knowing what to expect.

I was both looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

The jury selection process was an interesting experience. I was one of 30 jurors summoned to appear in court. Once we were seated in the courtroom, they randomly selected 17 of us to fill the juror stands for questioning.

I was one of the seventeen.

Ultimately, only seven jurors went on to serve on the jury. The plaintiff and defendant each got to eliminate five of the seventeen jurors after questioning us.

In the end, I was not selected to be on the jury. I think I had an efficient experience, though. I got to see what a courtroom/trial is like, but it only took up half of a day.

My biggest takeaway was hearing the wide variety of opinions discussed by my fellow jurors during the interview process. There was a large mix of race, ethnicity, gender, wealth, age, etc. and we hit some contentious topics.

I think sometimes I forget how much of a bubble I live in. My family is all from Colorado and we generally have similar views. The people I work with by process of career selection are similar to me. My friends are similar to me.

Even within the “Boulder bubble,” more diversity exists than what I realized.

I truly enjoyed hearing the from such a wide variety of backgrounds. And to be honest, today has made me realize that I need to find more avenues to hear opinions that are vastly different than mine.

Diversity isn’t just important for running a free, democratic society, it’s also extremely valuable for our individual success in life.

You need diverse opinions to learn new ways of thinking; you need to know all the tools in the toolbox to know which one to use.

I think too often we find our own bubble and work over time to keep ourselves more and more comfortably inside that bubble, perhaps even shrinking it. This is the opposite of what we should be doing.

If one of my fellow jurors is reading this (I did exchange business cards with someone!), I hope you know that even if we expressed different opinions, hearing your views was the highlight of my week. While we might not have changed each other’s minds on the topics we discussed, your opinions have made me rethink how I live my life.

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