Pragmatism is a peculiarly “American” brand of philosophical outlook and approach; unique because it reflects the character and personality of the general population, of looking at things not in terms of understanding it, attempting to discern the underlying essence beneath the qualities and appearances; rather, to look upon success in terms of workability.
To that extent, the European sense of “angst” is often missing in the American character, because there is amiss a sense of struggling over knowledge concerning the substance of a thing. Such an approach brings to fore the reputation that Americans are merely celebrated merchants, coming to the marketplace to trade and barter, with nothing profound to say or add.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, one can ruminate over the potentialities which lead to a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application to an extent where one become paralyzed by the possibility. At some point in the process, pragmatism must trump the angst. Too many self-corrections can lead to immobility and paralysis of thought and action. Perhaps there does not exist the “perfect word” or “complete sentence” which adequately describes one’s physical pain, mental confusion, or the nexus which describes how one cannot perform one’s job. It is likely that no one at OPM will ever fully comprehend the terrible ordeal which the Federal or Postal Disability Retirement applicant is going through.
While many are immigrants from the “old country”, the great thing about arriving to the “new country” is that the angst which once was, is now left behind. Sometimes, it is time to become pragmatic, and simply file. Most things can be further supplemented and amended at a later date. That is the beauty of America — of having second chances over and over again.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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