It is the famous question brought to the fore by Hannah Arendt and others in the aftermath of WWII. The trial of Eichmann brought some clarity to the issue; of the banality of evil; of the trial of human goodness in contrast to questioning the existence of evil. Faith was said to be lost in the aftermath; for, how could a God who purports to be pure goodness, allow for such evil to dominate?
Camus warned of humanity’s descent into further darkness; that the mass concentration camps were not the end, but merely the beginning of wider and more ferocious depravity. The question really was never how there could be goodness in dark times; but rather, why or how there could be goodness at all.
Since WWII, modernity has strived — albeit, rather in a fumbling and ineffective way — to reeducate children to engender greater empathy for one another; to stamp out (or at least, divert) man’s inherent “evil” within; to try and prevent the predilection towards violence, etc. Then, of course, the Internet was created; Social Media exploded (or imploded); the pandemic exponentially heightened; and the rest is history — of dark times in greater numbers; the selfishness of the ultra-wealthy; the rise of autocratic regimes and the reemergence of greater evil.
In the end, it is not the question of goodness in dark times which matters, but rather, how to extend, to the extent possible, some iota of goodness within the times we live in. Laws, in the end, and the abiding of laws, are the only hope we have.
For Federal and Postal employees needing to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the current Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, goodness in dark times is defined by the ability to manage your life despite the dark times. Chronic medical conditions can be overwhelming and appear to present a period of unending dark times in your life. Fortunately, the laws governing FERS Disability Retirement provide some amount of goodness and point to a brighter future.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.