Most of us are too busy to pause for air, reflect upon theoretical, hypothetical or philosophical issues that have little to do with day-to-day living or earning wages in order to maintain a certain standard of living. Every now and then, however, when the tumults of life’s encounters reaches a pinnacle of unsolvable problems such that the stressors exceed the barometric pressure allowable for the human psyche to withstand, there is a compelled stoppage, a mandated cessation and a forced condemnation to rest.
It is, in short, called a “medical condition”.
It is when we become debilitated, destroyed, distraught and disillusioned that we begin to ask such universal, exhaustive and unnatural (by this term is meant with a rhetorical question: What other animal in nature asks such questions, and thus do we posit them as “unnatural”) to the core queries that, as Bertrand Russell once wittily quipped, is likely the result of indigestion.
What do we mean when we ask such questions; of looking up at the ceiling with furrowed eyebrows and inquiring, “What is the meaning of all of this?” It is, of course, the focal point of “this” that one must then turn to, for such a word is obscure, undefined and like a blank space to be filled, can be interpreted in an eternity of ways depending upon the context of the query.
Is the “this” referring to the pain, suffering and debilitating medical condition being experienced? Is it about the “unfairness” of it all and the fact that others seem to be roaming this earth carefree, careless and thoughtless as to one’s pain, whether physical, emotional or cognitive? Or does the “this” reference the connection of all of that striving, the hours and commitment to work – of a loyalty to a Federal Agency or the Postal Service who cares not about your medical condition, may not have even noticed your absence (at least for the time being until someone finally notices the pile of work backing up on the desk of that…what was her name?) and likely thinks of individuals as mere cogs in a wheel, replaceable and fungible.
In the end, Russell was probably right; such questions about the “meaning of life” are beyond the comprehension of any level of rationality, belief or coherency that has any real impact upon our lives to make a true difference. What really matters, in the end, is not that “philosophical” query about the meaning of life, but about human contact, relationships, and securing a future for ourselves and our families.
To that end, preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset is an important next step for the Federal or Postal employee who can no longer continue in the career position of his or her choice. For, filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application actually does answer the question, “What is the meaning of ______”; it may not be the grand concept of “life” itself that completes that blank, but it sure beats walking away with nothing by obtaining an annuity to secure one’s future so that other things in life may be enjoyed.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire