We hear all the time about the shrinking world, the smaller universe, the global village – all metaphors to help and understand, to comprehend and be able to withstand within the insanity of a world that continues to intrude, intersect and impose itself upon every corner and aspect of lives lived and daily interrupted. It is a way for people to cope with the fact that we can no longer avoid the reality of those intersecting connections from worlds, cultures and universes that make up the daily reality of our walking lives.
The newspapers globalize each and every issue; the television and cable news outlets care little for local news unless it, too has some national consequences; and so we live with the anomaly that the only time you might hear about your own hometown is if some horrific event occurs that other people in other towns might care about. And, even when a story is reported about an event that occurs just around the corner from the news station, headquarters or whatever manner of identifying the central place where all of the equipment, studios and personnel gather to emit their airwaves of newsfeeds, they act as if it is occurring in some distant county or country, with perhaps a bit of weeping as an afterthought with a statement like, “And it makes it all the worse because it happened just in our own neighborhood!”
The world is indeed one comprised of intersecting connections, and we voluntarily allow for those connections to make our own perspectives molded into “theirs” by inviting various cable channels into our living rooms. Do we really have a choice? Can we just remain ignorant and ignore the reality of the global economy, the extended village and the universal concerns of the day? How do we live with the complexities of intersecting connections, when we can barely deal with the local problems that beset us within the cocoon of our own lives?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact the daily ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, the microcosm of intersecting connections may well be magnified to a level where it competes with what is occurring on a more global scale.
Suddenly, the Federal Agency is moving to put pressure on you – like those competing foreign companies you hear about in the world economy. Or, the Supervisor is no longer being cordial – somewhat like the world leader who doesn’t return calls to the President. Coworkers no longer treat you as an equal – like nations that suddenly go rogue without explanation. You have to file a complaint – like submitting to a U.N. vote for sanctions.
We have all been groomed and prepared to think in terms of intersecting connections, but for the Federal and Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition such that preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application becomes a necessity, it all comes back to a more local and personal connection: one’s health, and the need to focus upon one’s personal life.
No matter how global the world has become, never forget that it is the personal life of close connections that really only matters in the end.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire