Life is mostly dark clouds, with a ray of sunshine briefly upon a small patch of wet grass. Yes, yes – such a perspective is a mirror reflection of the conflict between the “half-full” versus “half-empty” outlook; but is it helpful for young people to posit a world view, a paradigm or, in the philosophical realm of ivory towers, that king of all royalties in linguistic sophistication that is dropped nonchalantly to impress and raise eyebrows – Weltanschauung (since when did a German word rise to the level and replace Latin phrases, when one can barely clear one’s throat in enunciating such concepts?) – when reality doesn’t quite parallel such a fairytale ga-ga-land of fantasy reserved for bedtime stories and dream-filled comforts?
Do we not restrain children from engaging strangers? Do we not warn of criminals, conmen and conspirators and step cautiously into dark alleys and isolated parks in twilight’s eyesight because the world lurks with malevolent intentions and evil thoughts?
There is no questions, of course, that there are periods of respite; of sunshine, briefly, by rays of telescopic precision warming for a time, before the inevitable clouds rub out the finite orientation of a limited gap emitting brightness of hope. Is balance the stain of righteousness, and if so, where on the spectrum of both extremes does one draw the line of correctness, and is there a singularly myopic perspective where no other can claim moral equivalency?
Cynicism is attributable to the extreme of the “dark clouds” perspective, and naïve idealism to the other end of limitless sunshine; and somewhere in the middle is where reality protrudes into the conceptual realms of unease: daily living, the encounters with meanness, harassment and unmitigated callousness that must endure the diminishing dereliction of youth’s untarnished cavity of hope.
It is, in the end, that ray of sunshine, however brief, that we live for, even if it only comes about once in a proverbial blue moon. It is likened to the 80/20 rule: Eighty percent of people you meet are not worthy of your time; it is the other 20% that you hope to encounter and engage; the identical proportion applies with work – much of it is monotonous and mindless repetition; it is for that remaining sliver that you do the treadmill stuff in order to apply the relishing technicality of challenging concerns.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the idea of life’s sunshine, however briefly, is precisely the point, isn’t it?
The medical condition that shortens one’s promising career is but the dark clouds which have gathered and overcast upon your life, career and ability and capacity to enjoy; Federal Disability Retirement – thought as “negative” in the sense that it replaces that which you worked so hard to attain – is that sunshine, briefly, so that you can go out with an annuity, a semblance of security, and focus upon the priorities of life: Health, family, friends and tranquility.
Now, if that is not sunshine, however briefly, no one can fathom what is.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire