We make them all of the time; many, merely implied ones; others, of more explicit origins; and of the “blame game” which we all engage in, the ease of pointing fingers when promises are made and broken — well, even our cousins the chimpanzees can do that with aplomb. Promises are easily made; and, these days, just as easily broken. Pointing fingers is a way of deflecting one’s own shortcomings and responsibility in the matter; and whether by the index finger or the middle one, the act itself is what matters.
Do some cultures, foreign or less “civilized”, use the thumb, the forefinger (otherwise known as the “index” finger), the middle one, the ring or the pinky in assigning and ascribing blame?
The middle one, of course, is a dangerous entity, for it can play a significance far beyond merely “pointing” to something. And of the former — of a “promise” — can one be committed to it “forever”, or does a promise lose its efficacy and vitality over time? When two people commit to each other and begin to build a life together, is there an implied “promise” of working for the rest of one’s life, but with conditions?
What if a medical condition begins to impede one’s career?
Often, the stress of loss — any loss — results in the pointing of fingers, whether justified or not. Needing to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, often brings up accusations of broken promises and pointing of fingers — that you’re just not trying hard enough; that you can’t just go out on disability retirement at such an early age, etc.
People don’t understand that chronic medical conditions creep into a person’s life through no fault of their own; and when it becomes necessary to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, there will be many other stresses which come into play, such as accusations of promises left unkept and pointing of fingers; but, in the end, none of that matters, for, when a condition becomes so debilitating as to prevent the Federal employee from performing one’s Federal job, the best option to take is the one promising to point a finger to one’s self — of prioritizing one’s own health.
And whether that is done with the index, the middle, the ring or the pinky finger, matters not. Or even the thumb.
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.