As activity is the fingerprint of life, and inertia denotes death (or at least a somnolence of sluggishness), so the parallelism between thought and life follows the logic of movement versus progressive decomposition. Thinking, according to Aristotelian tradition, constitutes the essence of human-ness. Other species may have characteristics which define and distinguish; for the human animal, it is the process of thinking, or thought-engagement, which differentiates and identifies by uniqueness of quality. Part of that cognitive process involves decision-making.
For all species, this cannot be the essence of being, because such a principle applies to every genus, lest we conclude that determinism is ingrained in one’s DNA. Predators must decide when and upon what the advantage of a chase will result; frogs must affirmatively choose when to snap that elongated tongue in the split second of time to satisfy its appetite; and men and women must resolve issues short of confrontations engaged in a prior state of nature, to confirm that civilization is indeed a progression of culture and sophistication, and not based upon brute force.
The underlying principles, then, which distinguishes human decision-making from other species, must be some other component; perhaps that of the formulation of a paradigmatic criteria upon which an option is considered.
In the process of thoughtful decision-making, what criteria do we apply? For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Employee Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the criteria-based paradigm of choice-making may be limited: You can remain within the inertia of present circumstances; you can walk away in order to “save” your health, while also partly engaging in the first option (i.e., change into the inertia of a different set of circumstances); or, you can file for Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits.
If the third alternative is the one opted for, then a series of additional questions and answers must be posed and resolved: How many years of Federal Service; how long will the process take; what are the chances of success; will my doctor support me in this endeavor; and multiple other queries. For some of these, further research and investigation will provide the answers; for others, seeking legal counsel, expert advice and general wisdom of experience will be helpful.
In the end, inertia should be disengaged, as lifelessness should never define the essence of a living being; and the thoughtless void which modern society and technological dominance tends to cower us all into, should be pushed back and resisted, like the days of yore of Masada and other uprisings which manifest the destiny of humanity, that life on any planet, Mars or Earth, is indeed a rarity even among a plenitude of apparent activity.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire