The category of the latter has diminished in recent years, as the general populace has mistakenly misinterpreted the distinctive definitions of liberty and freedom, and reassigned meanings as license and anarchy. The blank column of the former concept has come to be full, despite the reality of the economic downturn and the shift into a global economy that, we are told, is an inevitable consequence of human progress.
We were taught that the march of progress required the destruction of the American West, where a way of life needed to be trampled upon and destroyed in the name of advancement and civilization; that each step of innovation and progressive paradigms constitute an almost Hegelian fatefulness, and resistance is merely an act of futility within the aggregation of the Leviathan called “Progress”. The modern parlance consists in the acceptance of every innovation of technology, to the extent that Orwell’s dystopian premonitions have been surpassed by a reality now accepted as mundane and commonplace, and we fail to realize that his magnum opus of a totalitarian future could have been heeded, but now is merely embraced with a yawn and barely a glance backward.
The more that society comes to believe in that which we ‘can’, as opposed to the obligatory mandate of ‘have to’, the less likely is there of a resistance to authority. And, until the police raid in the middle of the night or the unquestioned stop and search on a highway where others just whiz by without puzzlement or curiosity, is experienced personally by a given individual, the onerous nature of laws passed in the name of safety, security and preventative measures, will be merely a conceptual haze masked by an obscure hypothetical.
Instead, we live day-to-day in the conundrum of being told that we ‘can’ do what we want, desire and fantasize about, and there is little that we ‘have to’ do. Thus do infidelity and divorces occur; of abandonment of family ties based upon tropes of scintillating sensations; and goals set aside in the namesake of present pleasures.
There is a category of individuals, however, where the luxury of ‘can’ cannot be replaced by mere want of ‘have to’ – a person with a medical condition. For Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the ‘can’ once relied upon transforms into an inability.
Once the inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position becomes a reality, then the ‘have to’ is finally realized – of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset. Do not let the muddle of incessant trope involving ‘can’ become confused with ‘have to’ – for, when one comes to a point of ‘must’, it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Employee Disability Retirement application.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire