It is the classic question which allegedly reveals something about a person’s inner psyche: Of whether you would rather die from a thousand cuts, or quickly and instantaneously? Of course, the third option is never allowed within the hypothetical, because to include it would defeat the whole purpose of the question: Of continuing to live, or even of a “middle” ground, where it is not quite a thousand cuts and not nearly immediately.
But implicit in the “thousand cuts” alternative contains the hope of surviving, anyway, doesn’t it? For, presumably to inflict a thousand slashes implies that it would take a considerable amount of time, as well as agony, torturous pain and unimaginable cruelty imposed; but it is time of which we seek in order to have any chance of survival, isn’t it?
Time is what we seek; that tomorrow may be different from today; that a future beyond the apparent corner may be a destiny yet unknown; that, without tomorrow, there would be no flame of hope, and it is that flame — however weak, flickering or susceptible to extinguishment at any moment — that we guard because the looming shadows await to overwhelm and dominate, like the lurking stranger behind the facade patiently awaiting to pounce once the flame dies.
We can endure much, and the time of agony can be withstood so long as there is some hope for tomorrow; and it is when tomorrow offers no hope that then we might ruefully mourn the choices we made in suffering through the thousand cuts.
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 job, the endurance suffered can be liked to the torturous spectacle of being cut a thousand times. Perhaps Federal Disability Retirement is that very flame of hope that will keep you going.
Consult with a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and seek that goal of maintaining the flicker; for, without it, the tomorrow we live for may be extinguished by the other alternatives unimagined.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire