Sometimes the Wolf Cries Girl poem

Suspending Judgment in Court

Jury duty was long.  It was also rewarding.  And I must admit, it felt strangely powerful to know that the final judgment of the case was ultimately my fellow jurors’ and mine.  It presented a challenging conundrum.  We were expected to make a judgment call while, at the same time, suspending our judgment.

Implicit vs. Explicit

A fundamental aspect of being a juror is doing your best to put your biases aside.  I’d like to think that I’m unbiased…but it’s naïve to do so as I haven’t grown up in an isolated bubble. Years of interaction with other people and exposure to all forms of media fosters bias: explicit and implicit.   Sadly, it’s inevitable. 

We Can Fight It

The New York Court System brought the issue of implicit bias to our attention during a brief training session they provided for all jurors.  Honestly, it was a brilliant idea.  I wouldn’t have paid as much attention to my own thoughts and judgments if I hadn’t been provided with the cursory training and given tips on how to manage it. 

Obviously, it’s important to alleviate your bias when making a judgment in a trial.  But it’s also important in everyday life.  We’ve all been both perpetrators and victims of bias.  It ranges from the serious, such as inequitable compensation, to the trivial.  Literally every single time my husband and I order a diet Coke (for him) and a beer (for me), the person delivering the drinks never fails to give me the diet Coke.  It’s laughable, but it perfectly demonstrates implicit bias in our everyday life.

How Can We Fight It?

Recognizing the fact that you have implicit bias is the first step to fighting the problem.  Not sure in what ways you are biased?  Just google implicit bias quiz and you’ll find a wide range of options to help you understand yourself better.  Once you understand your biases, have a look at this short article for ideas on how to combat the problem.

Sometimes The Wolf Cries Girl poem

Suspending Judgment

The poem above, Sometimes the Wolf Cries Girl, by @srwpoetry, addresses the issue of bias in such a clever manner.  We’ve all been told stories; they’ve shaped our lives.  And that’s ok.  Stories can be beautiful.  But it’s our responsibility to not define others by those stories, because, as @srwpoetry closes the poem, “just because it’s what we’ve been told doesn’t make it true.”

"Judging a person doesn't define who they are, it defines who you are."
- Unknown (

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