What constitutes “thought” and fails to satisfy the allegation that one has not engaged in it?
Take the following example: A young man who is courting a young woman buys a bouquet of flowers on his way home, but stops by at her place just to say hello. She — seeing the flowers — declares, “Oh, how thoughtful of you.” He sheepishly smiles and nods his head, but in reality the flowers were to spruce up his own apartment. He explains this to the young woman, and she turns a smile into its opposite — a frown — and reverses her opinion, telling the cad how “thoughtless” he is being.
In reality, he had done no such thing — he had, in fact, “thought” about it, only not in the sequence that the young woman had desired. Yet, he is charged with being “thoughtless” — and one could argue that such a charge is applicable in that he should have “thought about it” before stopping by her place, and instead should have gone ahead and followed a route straight home.
Or, of another example: Say you are debating a point with another individual, or a group of individuals, and someone during the course of your monologue says, “It is clear that you haven’t thought about it.” What, precisely, does that allegation mean and imply? Would it have made any difference if you had previously taken yourself into a corner, sat for an hour or two reflectively posed like the famous statue by Rodin’s “The Thinker”, chin upon knuckle in a reflective pose of self-absorption — then come back to engage in the discussion?
What if your contribution to the conversation included as great an expanse of idiocy as if you had not “thought about it” — but the mere fact that you had sat for a couple of hours, or perhaps a weeklong sojourn of contemplative solitude — does it make a difference? Isn’t “thinking about it” often done in the course of give-and-take, during the conversation engaged, as opposed to being lost in one’s own mind?
Further, isn’t singularity and isolation of “thinking” often the wrong approach, inasmuch as you may be missing something, have inadequate information, illogical in the process because of selfish interests unrecognizable, and therefore the best kind of thinking often involves debate, countering opinions and other’s input, as opposed to the isolationism of “The Thinker”?
Would it make sense to ask a dozen or so physicists to “solve the mystery of the universe” by gathering them together, then making each sit in a corner and “think about it”, as opposed to engaging them in a “give-and-take” brainstorming session? Isn’t much of thinking “done” by engagement with others, as opposed to a soliloquy of isolationism? If so, then why is there too often a prerequisite of thought?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have “thought” about 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 first and most important step in making the “right” decision may not be by engaging in an isolationism of “thinking about it”, but by consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement law.
There is no prerequisite of thought in picking up the telephone and having an initial, free consultation with an attorney to discuss the particulars of your case, and engaging in the thoughtful exercise of considering OPM Disability Retirement by actively participating in the productive modality of thinking.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire