We can imagine other worlds in which things are different; science fiction does it all the time, and even traditional literary fiction – though the differentiation between “science fiction” and “regular fiction” can often be lost in esoteric and academic ways – can depict other worlds not quite familiar, though recognizable enough to keep it apart from fantasy or that of the bizarre.
We can imagine, for instance, a world in which a pot of water sits upon a burning stove, but the pot never boils because the heat from the burner never transfers its element to the water; and so the isolation of each entity remains unmoved, as each fails to influence the other. Or, that rain falls, but nothing gets wet. What about people? Of a persons who talks and talks and everyone hears, but no impact results. You say to your friend, “A skunk has climbed up on top of your head,” and the friend responds, “Yes, thank you,” but does nothing and goes on with his or her life.
It would be a universe where we are consumed and subsumed within the universe of our own thoughts, and the world around us remains separate, isolated and without influence upon entities remaining placid, implacable, undisturbed and without any capacity to embrace the causality of an effect that remains otherwise unperturbed.
Come to think of it, that somewhat describes the world we actually live in, doesn’t it? It started out as some science fiction genre – other worlds – and yet the universe that was described, of a world where people talk and no one listens, others hurt and no one helps, and the gravitational pull remains isolated to the planets within a galaxy, but never extending beyond to the human lives that populate this earth. Isn’t that what occurs in this world, today?
People lie to themselves thinking that they have hundreds of “friends”, and yet sit alone in an apartment staring at a glowing piece of machine called a computer, and converse quietly on Facebook and through other social media outlets, yet never say a word; and the “conversations” on the medium are merely a series of rants and raves, and at the end of the late evening, everyone goes home. People live with great wealth – of extravagance of living never seen heretofore in this or any other universe – while others barely make a living; and the impact felt moves not a teardrop or a sigh of resignation.
Federal and Postal employees live in such a universe, especially when a medical condition begins to impact the Federal or Postal employee’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal position. The agency doesn’t care; the postal facility is indifferent; no one says, “Ah, we need to do everything to help you out so that you can get better!” Instead, we rely upon quiet laws to be enforced, so that our “rights” can be protected and compelled.
Other worlds are not mere fantasies that we dream up; and for the Federal or Postal employee who must take the next step in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, welcome to the bizarre universe of an administrative process that cares little about injured or hurting people, but one in which the cold bureaucracy of laws and rights must be enforced in order to assert that which remains unmovable in the face of a medical condition that won’t go away.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire