Is it wrong to ascribe wrong motives? And, unless there emerges practical consequences, does it matter? If a non-family member forms a relationship of friendship with an older person, do we fairly ascribe an underlying intent of malicious deliberation? We may think thus: He is hoping to gain something – gifts in return; an inheritance, perhaps; or, maybe even a more blatant act of stealing or forcibly engaging in a criminal enterprise. On the other hand, there could be a purity of motives – of responding to loneliness and a desire for company; but who in this world ever believes that, anymore?
In a universe of depravity and disseminated cynicism of purpose, we know better, yet cling to that time eons ago of innocence and purity, when not everyone darkened his inner soul of decadence. What was that age-old adage that once applied, when mothers and grandmothers admonished us to invite strangers into the home, lest one day a disguised angel appeared amongst our sinful souls? Of scenes during the Great Depression when the hungry would knock humbly on backdoors and stand with hat in hand, eyes cast downward, and children in tattered clothing looked up with forlorn eyes in bulging anticipation for a morsel of forgiveness and food?
Yes, we give to that homeless man or woman in a moment of panic, when the urge of empathy is not so much overwhelming, but more fearful that we want to avoid the image that, “But for the grace of God, I may become like that person”, and quickly hand over some loose change or fumble for our wallets and pocketbooks to swiftly dispense with our duty to our fellow mankind – and if a stranger looking askance smiles sardonically and quips under his breath, “Yeah, right, as if you really cared” – is it any different in ascribing a wrong motive, than the mercenary who targets old ladies and innocent children with threats of harm?
This is a pivotal point in civilization’s evolution towards a pinnacle of maturation: as the West has no mechanism in the generational transfer of wisdom, where the young learn of lesson’s past through dinner-table discussions of nightly musings; so the imputation of cynicism’s haunting residue will only exponentially overtake any purity of a soul’s essence. We become what we fear, because fear overtakes and is more powerful than any singular love for one another.
For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who is considering preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it is often the case that the Supervisors, Managers and coworkers of the Federal agency or the Post Office at which one works, will ascribe wrong motives to the Federal or Postal worker filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
That is a sad thing. For, no one else can “feel the pain” as the person suffering from a debilitating medical condition, just as empathy and sympathy become waning characteristics in a society increasingly devoid of such human essences of Being. In the end, one must simply ignore such lack of civility, and move on, as the saying goes; for, the old adage of proverbial significance – that a person is unable to understand unless you have walked a mile in his or her shoes – still applies today, whether or not the other person has ascribed wrong motives or not.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire