Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Change is good...

As I lay here across my daughter's bed, I can't help but try to process how much my life has changed in the last 7 years. It's like a new cycle of life has begun. I imagine I cannot put this new beginning in perspective without understanding the past. So, this moment of introspection is to start that journey.

A little over 7 years ago, I secured a job as a prosecutor. I accepted the position not because it was what I always dreamt of being. But, the prosecutor's office was hiring and I needed out of my job at the time because it felt like I had run into a dead end. I had to start walking down a new road, one which I had no map to.

As I sat in my dad's living room and told him that I had just received offer letter from the prosecutor's office, I could see the pride in his eyes. As vulnerable as I felt, I knew it was safe to tell him everything. So I poured out my internal dilemna, nervousness, and self-doubt that I could the job to the best of my ability. After all, I was born to be a defense attorney, a formidable one who would herald justice throughout the land. My dad would set me straight that day and give me just another piece of life's puzzle.

My dad explained how the prosecutor is the second-most powerful person in that courtroom, next to the judge of course. As the words rolled off his tongue, my interest was peaked. He continued, you must always prosecute fair with compassion, for on any given day, that could be you. Immediately, my grandmother's saying rang in my ears, "There go I but for the grace of God." I kept listening. Dad told me that I can still be a vessel of change, an even more effective one, because now I'll be in a position where I have more discretion in meting out a slice of justice. I wouldn't be a defense attorney begging the prosecutor to do something on behalf of my client in a plea bargain. (I was abundantly aware of the concept that the wheels of justice would come to a grinding halt but for plea bargains.) But now, I would be the prosecutor to whom the defense attorney was begging and, in that chair, I should prosecute fairly across the board and always with compassion. I could bring about justice for victims of crime. I could be the prosecutor who could sympathize with the situation of those in less fortunate circumstances. I wasn't going to win them all and there was no way to make everybody happy. But, I would get more trial practice because a prosecutor has to go to trial more often than most defense attorneys. With that said, I was ready to be a prosecutor. I had never real thought of a prosecutor's role in that way before that day but now I was ready to be one, and I was determined to do it well.

Change is good.
One Love, Se'Lah

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hi Judge! ;)
I just wanted to comment to let you know that I read your blog tonight -- every word. I love it! I'm so glad you're blogging!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've always seen you as judge because I know you and that is just what I've always seen in my mind's eye. You and Braydon are the two most resilient people I know in the world... given all the history you have, given all the complexities, given it ALL, still you both RISE and keep on rising. You are a strong powerful competitive ambitious driven passionate woman who is following her calling in life. Your work in the world is rooted in a sense of social justice that you and I have always shared. Deep down I understand what you do and why you do it. And I just have always known you'd go all the way. That's what I see in you.