Hope is a peculiarly human characteristic; it is both a motivator and an incentive; yet, an unrealistic embracing of it, without reality-based assessments, can lead to a frail sense of overwhelming despondency. Hope is the substantive element of the con-artist; for, the fraudulent plan to defraud another is based upon fostering the believer that — though it may sound too good to be true — the hope that human nature is good, and the results of such a scheme would reward one with lasting riches, is the thread which tugs at the unsuspecting and naive. Gambling, the Lottery — despite the exponential odds against winning, are a testament to the human foible identified as “hope”. Do animals possess it? Perhaps in some unstated, inherent way — that the potential food source will not be as formidable as it may appear.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is often the sense of “hope” which leads to procrastination, a delay to the detriment of the Federal or Postal Worker. Whether the hope that the workplace environment will change; that perhaps, one day soon, a new supervisor will come along; that the medical condition will improve despite the doctor’s reticence and reluctance to make eye contact when the question is asked; whether the surgery just prior to, or the multiple history of surgeries, did nothing to feed any realistic assessment of hope; whatever the reasons, yes, “hope” is a uniquely human characteristic, and indeed, that which brings us closer to the angels than the apes below.
But in considering Federal Disability Retirement, hope must be combined with other human characteristics — of pragmatism, logic, analytical assessment, and the ability to plan for the future. Hope, in and of itself, while feeding the soul, fails to feed the body; and as human beings are not quite angels, the practical needs of life must be attended to.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire