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2021-12-07 18:46:39 (UTC)

For Great Justice!

Personal entry follows.

Two things have been influencing me considerably over the past month, and both have come to a head today.

The first is that, in about mid-November, I received notice that I was to serve on a Federal Jury for a court case coming up in December. The length of time of service was noted as being "approximately four weeks." I just about lost my shit upon first reading it. A "registered Anarchist" has no place on a Federal jury, of all places. If I ever discussed the matter with anyone, I started off calm and then inevitably became more and more upset about it the more I talked about it. To say I was "upset" would have been a severe understatement.

As soon as I knew about it, I notified the leadership team at my job. I learned that I would need to use my accrued vacation and personal time to compensate for the time off, either that or take a sabbatical or something drastic. I had to hold off on scheduling my annual New Year's retreat to the shore because I didn't know how long I would be indisposed, and didn't want to schedule the trip only to have to cancel it and hate life even more.

Back to this in a moment.

The second thing that had influenced me significantly at about this time is that, to address my anger issues revolving round this jury commitment, I started looking more into philosophical audio lectures. There were a handful of short lectures I'd found that dealt with Buddhist and Taoist notions of pain, of suffering, and of going with the flow: allowing nature to take its course and not rebel against the universe.

I remembered reading much of these books while in college, literally 20 years ago by now, and how I'd always returned to the Tao Te Ching during times of struggle or stress. I ended up listening to these lectures all the way down to the shore, and most of the time back. So by the time the end of November rolled around and I had a chance to visit my relatives, I'd come to relative peace with the potential discomfort that jury duty might provide.

My mantra became: "Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional."

The Saturday I visited my relatives, I received notice that jury duty was postponed and I needed to check in Monday. On Monday, I received notice that jury duty was postponed and I was to check in on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, I receive notice that I was no longer assigned for jury duty.

I suppose I was supposed to jump up from my seat and yell and cheer, or if I were in my car, I would peel out on my neighbourhood street and obnoxiously, incessantly honk my horn.

Instead, I simply smiled slightly, and ate my dinner.

Did all that Buddhist and Taoist stuff finally rub off on me? Or is it just that I was behaving like a grown-ass man should?

Suffering is optional, indeed.

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