In most cases, it is not as dramatic a moment as we all tend to think; it is rarely “The X”, as in the penultimate juncture of enlightenment where the “The” is prefatory to the noun, as opposed to a more general article such as, “A realization” — meaning, one among others, or just another one amidst many.
Most such moments are not “Aha” ones, where there is a sudden and profound revelation, like the proverbial Road to Damascus experience or the Gestalt shift in thinking. Instead, the realization of X is more often than not subtle, incremental and a slow progression towards an acknowledgment, observable and quantifiable over a period of many months or years. Whether we make it into a momentous period, a critical juncture in our lives, or as one of many tokens of change often depends upon how we view each segment that results in a modification of a life judged in its totality.
Aristotle’s belief is that a person’s life cannot be fully evaluated until much later in life. Indeed, what do we make about a person’s career, reputation and overall “life” when a critical mistake is made at the beginning — say, in the early years of youth when one is more susceptible to the vicissitudes of emotional upheavals and pursuance of desires without thought? Or, of the fool who, in old age, does something similarly rash? Do we make an evaluation at the eulogy and excuse the one bad bit?
Something like, “Now, we all knew X. He was a great man. He had, of course, that one incident, but …”. Is it better to have the negative incident occur early in life so that you can rectify and redeem for the remainder? Or, is it more acceptable and palatable to live an exemplary life, then commit an error in later life so that you can excuse it as the “folly of age”?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal employee’s job and duties, “the realization” that something has to change will mostly come about over a period of time — incrementally, perhaps even subtly, and then one day there is a determination that has to be made that priorities of life need to be reordered and modifications to a life of struggle necessitates modifications.
Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the necessary next step after such a realization. Preparing, formulating and filing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application is the natural course of events once the Federal or Postal employee recognizes that change must occur.
Consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is also a good next step — for that points to the realization that not all things in the universe are known, and some things may need some further guidance in pursuit of a gargantuan effort required to go up against a behemoth of a bureaucracy — OPM.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire