Throughout history, across national and international lines of artificial demarcations; over barriers confining and limiting all conceivable sectarian ceilings; in every society, community and communitarian conglomeration where people must live and tolerate one another, there has always been an allegation of unfair treatment, discriminatory division, and biased cacophony of complaints. Perhaps all of them are valid and legitimate; perhaps some are and others not as much.
Whether by ethnic identification, normative connection, racial similarities or shared sexual orientation, the treatment by any given society of a group bifurcated by an identifiable feature of appearance, lineage or historical caricature, is forever fraught with inherent complexities. Politicians have their own motivations for agreeing or disagreeing with a group’s alleged violation of “rights” in a society; beyond the vote, they want the financial support and agreement to refrain from disruption of speechifying and rallying.
The problem with each identifiable claim of unfair treatment, however, is that the impact upon other groups outside of the chain of identification can be so alien as to defy empathy of relating; I am not my brother’s keeper if I cannot relate to the existential phenomenology of derisive treatment. Yet, what has been “missing” in each historical movement shouting for equal and fair treatment, is the one and only true civil rights issue which touches every ethnic, racial and cultural divide — jobs. It is the one component in every given society which touches every household, whether by racial, sexual or ethnic identification. It provides for a standard of living; it gives purpose and substance to each individual; and it reflects upon the magnitude of a society’s caring for the aggregation of citizenry.
The flight of jobs leaves behind the devastation of towns and cities; and the abandoned homes and former factory buildings no longer bright with endless rows of fluorescent lights after many have gone home, is a testament to the blight of future hopes and dreams. Decade after decade, we hear of “trade agreements” which will “brings jobs back”; but to whose benefit? No one ever asks that question. And as each year the jobs flee, the trumpeting of the next great “agreement” is touted from the soapbox of hope.
Sometimes, it seems that we all fall prey to the conmen of political expediency, where taking up causes which divide and separate, while ignoring the only true cause which matters, is done with purposive infamy. Indeed, that very same issue is often the stumbling block for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering 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.
The Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her position, will often pause because of the very nature of change — of the loss of one’s job, lessening of income, and alteration of circumstances.
Having a job is always a comfort of security, and sometimes a luxury of sorts, especially if you are healthy and able. In many ways, it is the one and only true civil rights issue, and for the Federal and Postal worker, to “give up” that “right” when it has been the source of one’s identity — not to a group or with a status based upon a cultural divide, but upon the singular factor which matters to most — of pride, productivity and purpose, it is often understandably difficult to take the next but necessary step in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire