This is a world where loneliness prevails. Despite all of the “connectivity” that is bandied about, the fact is that the suffering of human relationships has been on the rise since the industrial revolution, and perhaps even before that.
The proverbial term itself has taken on a double meaning (for those who are comfortable with a more sophisticated linguistic and grammatical ascription, that would be a “double entendre”) – not only in the traditional sense of the phrase as encapsulating the abandonment to make our own way in the world, but in the sense of modern technological overload, of the very pragmatic sense that each of us are surrounded by the electronic contraptions we have embraced in pursuance of connection and social constructs that have resulted in a foreboding sense of growing isolation and angst at the loss of a human touch.
It is that loss of tactile warmth – of holding hands in a movie theater, picking up on the subtleties of facial expressions and looks; of being able to read the soul’s essence through intonations and the mystery of sense impressions. We are all, in the end, left to our own devices, and more so in this universe of appearances and medium of messaging through words and abbreviations of words where illiteracy parallels the self-delusion of relationships created, maintained and transmitted by light’s illumination.
As Philosophy lost its pinnacle of wonder and incessant questioning when the pragmatic successes of science overshadowed queries perennially posited but never resolved, and as British Empiricism relegated all problems to mere linguistic wastelands where the tinkering of word-orders resolved long-held philosophical conundrums as mere confusion over grammatical misunderstandings and incomprehensible definitional mishaps (as only the British could so arrogantly decide for us how we should speak our language – although, oops! — the greatest culprit was not English at all but that Vienna-born rabble-rouser, Wittgenstein); so we have now come full circle and find ourselves lost in a paradise of our own seclusion, like the image of the Cave in Plato’s Republic, where we see only shadows, only our own devices, and forever isolated within the illuminated tablets of devices made in foreign parts unknown.
That is the same sense that Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers feel when they are hit with a medical condition that cuts short one’s Federal or Postal career. Isolation, being left to one’s own devices (in both senses of the phrase – of having no help from one’s own agency and presented with a number of puzzling and confusing forms to fill out), and like the boat up the proverbial river with no paddle, a reduced chance of success with the behemoth of all agencies, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Fortunately, however, there are “repair-shops” and refund policies for devices which don’t quite work; and the first step is to consult with a disability retirement lawyer who specializes in doing FERS & CSRS law. Left to our own devices, we are bound to come up short with inadequate answers; for, in the end, it is the devices which we use, in the proper and most effective way, that makes the difference in an otherwise mad, mad world.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Postal & Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer