There are no more causes by which people live, and those who do, do so within an artifice of self-justifying chameleons of linguistic gibberish. Once upon a time, grand philosophical systems were propounded; from the historical backdrop of Plato’s Republic, to the teleological schemata of Aristotle’s Metaphysics; to Aquinas’ Christian worldview, Kant’s bifurcation of the known and knowable worlds; but with deconstructionism, linguistic playgrounds of modernity, and the debunking of political innocence with the advent of information technology and the dissemination of all things private melded into the public arena, where Facebook constitutes the quantitative assemblage of friends, likes and self-promoted happiness on virtual images of frozen smiles and milk-white teeth; and in the end, what we are left with is a needed sense of belonging.
Belonging represents the last vestige of human instinct on the evolutionary scale of survival; and so men and women strive to hold on to hollow and ghostly caricatures of empty promises. For Federal employees and Postal workers who suffer from a condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, it is often a stark choice presented: to remain with the Federal or Postal job; to resign and walk away with nothing to show for the years of invested time and effort into one’s career, except for a deferred annuity well into old age; or to file for Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits.
The threat of loneliness and severance of ties to an agency, a mission and a purpose in life, is one which compels the Federal or Postal employee to “hold on” to that which has already been lost, for a period longer than sage advice would allow for, and certainly beyond the point of medical interest for the Federal or Postal employee whose deterioration of health, whether physical, emotional or psychological, continues with unabated progression.
The need to belong is a powerful instinct of evolutionary vestiges; and though we may try to conceal the origins of our being by spending countless hours on the Internet remaking ourselves because causes of yore have proven to be empty vessels of timeless interludes between graveyards filled with unnamed masses of those whom history has forgotten, but for quietude felt on the reddened horizon of memorials and notebooks of ageless spectrums of dusty memories — we seek to belong.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is always a hard decision to make. It is difficult because, the act of doing so is a recognition of both a need to step into an unknown future, as well as a severing of ties of the known past. Both sides of the singular act reveal the instinct of timeless necessity: belonging.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire