An Invitation to Walk

I would like to invite you this Friday, March 30th to take a walk – but not with me, and not with anyone else.  For many of the Christian faithful, today is Good Friday, a culmination of the Lenten season.  For us, these previous 40 days have served as a period of thoughtful reflection.   Time set aside to take stock: look at what we have done, discover what has driven us to do it, and decide which path in heaven’s name do we want to take now.

Four hundred years before the itinerant Galilean preacher Jesus took his path to Jerusalem, Socrates, another great and compassionate thinker also facing death for his disruptive ideas, stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”   It is with that goal of reflective self-scrutiny that I invite you to set aside some time and take this very vital walk with the most important person on your life – yourself.  Leaving devices, notebook, and pressing responsibilities behind, why not walk a little deeper into your life.  With the innocence of you the child, and the accrued wisdom of you the sage make that solitary stroll.

Spring everywhere makes hints of new hope and high promise.  Signs of new life emerge all around us.  Might this not be time to resurrect some old dreams, fashion some new ones, and plan for more fulfilling days ahead?

Wishing you every success, Bart Jackson

Jury Privilege

“People have fought and died for the right to be judged by a jury of their peers.”  The instruction video had announced it to the 300-some folks sitting in that basement room of the Middlesex County courthouse.  Now the Judge Vincent Leblon had just said it again to us of the 40-person jury pool in his courtroom.  And for petit juror 0689, these words struck home.

I was fully aware that today, most American citizens would be battling almost as ferociously to avoid sitting on a jury as our forefathers had to win us this vital freedom.  Previously, upon learning of my notice to report, all my friends had audibly sympathized with my being called up and proffered their best tips for wrangling an excuse from serving.

Yet here I sat, in the eight-person jury box, having dodged several sidebar questionings each of which could have won me an excuse.  The dental surgery could be postponed.  I could re-schedule the two radio shows, and pass on my friend’s funeral.  The judge had convinced me – serving on this jury was important.  Then, during the final round of questions one of the lawyers deemed me not to his liking and I was dismissed.  There would be no trial for this citizen.  My life could get back to normal.    No exciting interruptions, all my best-laid plans could take place.  Life could resume its predictability.  Although a bit relieved, I walked out of Middlesex County Courthouse with a sigh.

Wishing You Every Success,

– Bart Jackson