We learn at an early age to create a world of make-believe; of knights and princesses extracted not from the dungeons of the feudal world steeped in hunger, mass epidemic deaths and living conditions unfit even for the rats which lived and traveled freely in the underbelly of wealthy kings and courtesans, but from the literary imaginations of later dreamers. Or of happiness couched in syllables of uncertain saliency, where we talk ourselves into believing that fairness is inherent in games of chance, that speeches make for belief, and what people do behind closed doors are for the privacy of minds and mindless chatter, not for public consumption before the vote is cast.
To be “real” is to open one’s self to the gates of hell; and in a society which relishes artificiality and antiseptic appearances where we are willing to poison ourselves in order to attain the pristine color of chemical green in the August wilt of lawns thirsting for a drop of rain, how can we expect empathy when we have all throughout our lives stamped out the reality of suffering which would foster such emotions? Thus do we have to live, in the very bed which we have made.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it is all the more difficult to face the reality and to go beyond the mere contrivances of life.
Medical conditions have a way of slapping one squarely in the face of reality; it cannot be concealed, nor hidden behind the smiling face of genteel “hellos” and “how are you” artifices; the eyes tell all, and the hurting condemnation wrought by limps, squints and trembling hands, cannot but tell the story of impending doom.
How does the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service react in such situations? Did the pristine lawn and ego of a prior promotion help to foster the feelings of care, concern and community of thought?
From birth to death, the life of contrivances has taught us well, and the reaping of that harvest of cold-heartedness reveals the underbelly of who we are. And so, what is to be done? For the Federal and Postal worker, to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, in order to attain a level of security so one can move beyond the mere contrivances, and then to determine the next steps to regain a level of humanity perhaps lost and never to be returned, but at the very least, to try, and again, to try.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire