The term and the conceptual attachment possesses a connotation that is often repugnant to atheists and pagans – although, if reincarnation and a circular vision of regeneration of life are the belief-systems embraced, the declaration of “rebirth” or being “reborn” are not that foreign.
It can, too, have a very elementary meaning, to encompass merely a “new beginning” or a sense of transcending or climbing into a different stratosphere of thinking; sort of like “thinking outside of the box”, or of entering a “different phase” of life. That, too, is interesting, is it not – where we never think in terms of “descending”, but always of “ascending” – as if the former is always related to death, catacombs and unmarked graveyards with cemeteries full of weeds and overgrown ivy?
Rebirth is physiologically an impossibility, and thus do we ascribe to a cognitive or spiritual transference where change is often dramatic, originating from a trauma of experiences that must be left behind. But the experience itself – of a rebirth – can come about in a mundane, systematic, thoughtful and often enlightened means by nothing more than mere cadence of monotony – retirement; having children; getting married; becoming old; moving to a different country or even across a state line; these, too, can constitute a rebirth.
Or, how about adopting a dog from a rescue kennel and giving it a “rebirth” of sorts – doesn’t it reverberate back to the rescuer as well? What we find when we do that is this: We believe we are doing the “favor” for the abused animal, when in fact it is often the very reverse, where the animal brings out from within us a capacity for caring, empathy and love that we would otherwise have never known, and that, too, is a form of rebirth.
Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset – can that, too, be a form of rebirth? It all depends upon the attitude of approaching such a “next step” – Is it to escape, or to refocus? Is it an indicator of a reshuffling of priorities? Will it allow for an easing of debilitating pain and allow for a journey to attain a plateau of rehabilitation, such that a second career or further vocation will be possible?
Surely, rebirth is a wide enough concept to encapsulate a pathway through the bureaucratic morass of getting a Federal Disability Retirement application approved, and why not?
Robert R. McGill
Federal Disability Attorney