In once sense, there can always be the identifiable spectrum bifurcated into the “before” and “after”, and the conditions, the context and the significant differences characterized by each. There is the time “before” the 1929 stock market crash, and then the “after”. There is the “before” period in Nazi Germany, and the “after” timeframe subsequent to defeat. There is “before” television and “after”; there is the time period before X-presidency and after, and before the advent of the computer, the laptop, the smart phone, etc. — and after.
How can we identify and bifurcate based upon relevant contexts? For example, one can point to the legendary bank robbers — of “Bonnie and Clyde”, “Pretty Boy Floyd”, “Baby Face Nelson”, etc. — and it is much fun to watch movies romanticizing such characters. But how would they fare today in the era of cellphones and electronic tracking devices, modern technologies of security apparatus, etc.? Could a person “get away” these days using the same tactics and strategies, or would any of the famous bank robbers have been smart enough to change tactics and adapt to this world of technological intrusion? Are the old bank robbers of “before” the new cyberspace hackers of “after”?
Before the Great Dust Bowl and the Depression was a country that was mostly agrarian and independent of the Federal Government; after, we became a nation where the greater populace looked to a more centralized nation. Good or bad, we tend to view contexts upon a spectrum of “before” and “after”, and the same is true of individual lives. “How” we view it all depends upon which events we consider as significant enough to posit as the bifurcating dividing point that separates the “before” and the “after”.
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 one’s Federal or Postal job, the “before” is quite simple: Before the onset of the medical condition. It is the “after” that becomes problematic, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement is the next step in completing the process of the “after” so that you can go on to the next phase of your life and make the “after” the next “before” in a life that doesn’t remain stuck in the “before” of one’s medical condition.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire